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Gold on track for third weekly gain as virus cases surge

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Gold edged higher on Friday and was set for its third consecutive weekly gain, as coronavirus cases around the world surged and jittery investors opted for safe-haven assets.

[BENGALURU] Gold edged higher on Friday and was set for its third consecutive weekly gain, as coronavirus cases around the world surged and jittery investors opted for safe-haven assets.

Spot gold was up 0.1 per cent at US$1,763.48 per ounce as of 0042 GMT.

Bullion has risen more than 1 per cent so far this week, with prices scaling a near eight-year high of US$1,779.06 per ounce on Wednesday.

US gold futures rose 0.2 per cent to $1,773.60.

Coronavirus cases across the US have soared in recent days, with Texas pausing its re-opening as Covid-19 infections and hospitalisations surged in the state.

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There has been a rise in infections elsewhere as well, including in Brazil, Latin America and India.

A spike in virus cases in recent days has dented hopes of a quick economic recovery and prompted investors seek safe-haven assets like gold and the US dollar.

The US dollar held steady against a basket of major currencies.

Bank of Japan governor Haruhiko Kuroda said second-round effects of the coronavirus pandemic could hurt the Japanese economy "considerably", signalling the bank's readiness to ramp up stimulus measures again to cushion any blow from the crisis.

The US Federal Reserve said it will cap big bank dividend payments and bar share repurchases until at least the fourth quarter, after finding lenders faced significant capital losses when tested against an economic slump caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Asian stocks were set to gain on Friday, as global sentiment remained doggedly upbeat despite increased volatility and rising new coronavirus infections.

Palladium gained 0.1 per cent to US$1,843.52 per ounce, while platinum eased 0.1 per cent to US$802.42 and silver fell 0.8 per cent at US$17.74. 

REUTERS

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