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PRECIOUS-Gold dips as investors brace for data under virus cloud

Logo - The Daily Drill - Digging Deep for precious metal news

(Recasts, updates prices) * Caution grips world stock markets ahead of corporate earnings * Novel coronavirus infects more than 2.38 mln people globally * Interactive graphic tracking the global spread: open https://tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7 in an external browser By Brijesh Patel April 20 (Reuters) - Gold eased on Monday, having earlier touching its lowest in more than a week, as the dollar strengthened while investors braced for further cues on the economic toll from the coronavirus in a week lined with corporate earnings and data.

Spot gold was down 0.2% to $1,680.78 per ounce by 1132 GMT, having touched its lowest since April 9, at $1,670.55. The metal shed as much as 2% on Friday after global equity markets gained on hopes the United States would reopen its economy. U.S. gold futures eased 0.3% to $1,694.40. "The dollar has remained strong, which may be aiding these moves in gold," OANDA analyst Craig Erlam said, adding gold could also be seeing some profit-taking continuing from last week. "If gold can break and hold below $1,680, it could trigger a move back towards $1,640 or maybe even $1,600.

However, I still think it's bullish longer-term; the sheer amount of stimulus and uncertainty should continue to support prices." Safe-haven gains for the U.S. dollar limited gold's appeal, with the dollar index gaining 0.2% as global growth fears intensify. Global stock markets were cautious ahead of this week's corporate earnings. Bullion has on occasion moved in tandem with stock markets this year, with recent sharp sell-offs prompting investors to sell precious metals to cover their losses elsewhere. "So, as we get fears that this recession will be substantial and disruption in economic activity will be longer lasting, gold is one of those things that will be liquidated," said DailyFx currency strategist Ilya Spivak.

In the United States, governors in states hardest hit by the pandemic sparred with President Donald Trump over his claims they have enough tests and should quickly reopen their economies as more protests are planned over the extension of stay-at-home orders. More than 2.38 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 164,918 have died, a Reuters tally showed.

Countries around world have rolled out massive monetary and fiscal measures to limit economic damage from the virus. In the latest move, Japan is boosting its new economic stimulus package to expand cash payouts to its citizens. Palladium edged 0.5% higher to $2,166.75 per ounce, platinum rose 0.2% to $776.98, while silver gained 0.1% to $15.14. (Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru. Editing by Jane Merriman and Steve Orlofsky)

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