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Gold steady as firmer US dollar offsets risk-off sentiment
[BENGALURU] Gold prices held steady on Friday as downward pressure from a stronger US dollar countered rising safe-haven demand supported by gloomy economic projections and renewed fears over a second wave in Covid-19 infections.
Spot gold was flat at US$1,727.24 per ounce, as of 1256 GMT. US gold futures fell 0.4 per cent to US$1,733.30.
On Thursday, spot gold fell 0.5 per cent on a stronger US dollar.
The US dollar index inched up 0.1 per cent, after rising 0.8 per cent in the previous session, making gold more expensive for holders of other currencies.
Asian equities are set to tumble after Wall Street stocks slid over growing concerns about a resurgence in coronavirus infections.
The three major US stock indexes fell over 5 per cent on Thursday, posting their worst day since mid-March.
A recent spike in cases in about a dozen US states partially reflects increased testing, but many of those states are also seeing rising hospitalisations.
US jobless claims declined last week, but continuing claims are at an astoundingly high 20.9 million.
On Wednesday, Fed officials announced the need to keep the key interest rate near zero through at least 2022, and that it would be a "long road" to recovery.
Large stimulus measures and low interest rates tend to support gold, which is often considered a hedge against inflation and currency debasement.
Gold has rallied about 19 per cent since touching an over three-month low of US$1,450.98 on March 16.
SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings rose 0.5 per cent to 1,135.05 tonnes on Thursday.
Palladium was unchanged at US$1,921.22 per ounce, while silver was down 0.4 per cent to US$17.64, and platinum rose 0.2 per cent to US$812.37.