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PRECIOUS-Gold rises, drawing support from weaker equities

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

By Eileen Soreng April 20 (Reuters) - Gold edged higher from a more than one-week low hit earlier on Monday, helped by dwindling share markets as U.S. crude prices plunged and concerns about coronavirus-linked economic damage persisted. Spot gold rose 0.5% $1,691.88 per ounce at 11:25 a.m. EDT (1525 GMT), having touched its lowest since April 9, at $1,670.55 earlier in the session. U.S. gold futures climbed 0.7% to $1,709.90. "We had a bit of sell-off earlier and we hit some support level, so there is a bit of technical rebound," said Bart Melek, head of commodity strategies at TD Securities. "Gold has been very much subject to what has been happening in broader market ...

There will be a positive view of the economy going forward as things open up and given all the massive amounts of monetary and fiscal stimulus, the market will turn to gold as a protector against inflation." Governors in U.S. 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.

Wall Street fell at the open as energy shares took a hit from a crash in oil prices, with investors bracing for a week packed with earnings reports and economic data that could provide more evidence of the damage wrought by the coronavirus. "Gold is correcting modestly after a month-long rally from panic lows as stock and bond markets calm with the U.S. likely to have endured the worst of COVID-19 as focus shifts to re-opening the economy," said Tai Wong, head of base and precious metals derivatives trading at BMO.

"The outlook remains positive for gold medium term with high economic uncertainty and massively inflated (and growing) global government and central bank balance sheets." Countries around world have rolled out massive monetary and fiscal measures to limit economic damage from the virus, with Japan boosting its new economic stimulus package to a record $1.1 trillion to expand cash payouts to its citizens.

However, a Reuters poll on Monday showed gold prices are likely to consolidate below recent highs during 2020 and 2021 on dollar strength and weak retail consumption. Analysts and traders in a Reuters poll forecast palladium will remain undersupplied even as the coronavirus outbreak hammers automakers, reducing demand. Palladium rose 0.8% to $2,174.74 per ounce, platinum gained 0.4% to $778.07, while silver was up 1.2 % to $15.31 per ounce. (Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru; Editing by Tom Brown)

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