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Gold slips as risk appetite improves, virus surge caps losses

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Spot gold was down 0.1 per cent to US$1,772.73 per ounce.

[BENGALURU] Gold prices eased on Monday as risk sentiment improved ahead of US services sector data, although losses were capped by worries over surging coronavirus cases in some US states.

Spot gold was down 0.1 per cent to US$1,772.73 per ounce by 0521 GMT. US gold futures fell 0.5 per cent to US$1,780.80.

"We're seeing some big gains in Hong Kong and Chinese share markets," and that sort of growth-positive movement is generally expected to weigh on gold, said Michael McCarthy, chief strategist at CMC Markets.

Asian shares scaled a four-month high on bets for super-cheap liquidity and fiscal stimulus to sustain the global economic recovery, with investors awaiting US services sector activity data for June later in the day.

Financial markets have regained lost ground as a raft of positive economic readings lifted sentiment, although a spike in Covid-19 cases renewed worries about a swift economic recovery.

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However, the huge amount of stimulus and evidence in other markets signalling a shift in focus back towards infection rates could help gold "maintain its elevated status," CMC's Mr McCarthy said.

In the first four days of July alone, 15 US states reported record increases in new cases of Covid-19, which has killed around 130,000 Americans.

"With increasing number of US states imposing lockdowns again, it should result in the Federal Reserve's balance sheet continuing to grow and interest rates kept low, which would in turn provide underlying support for gold markets," Phillip Futures said in a note.

Lower interest rates and widespread central bank stimulus tend to support bullion, which has risen nearly 17 per cent so far this year.

On the technical front, spot gold is biased to break a resistance at US$1,778 per ounce and rise into the US$1,788-US$1,795 range, said Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.

Palladium fell 0.5 per cent to US$1,912.98 per ounce, while platinum rose 0.8 per cent to US$806.25. Silver shed 0.3 per cent to US$17.98.


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