June 24, 2020 / 10:32 AM / a month ago

PRECIOUS-Gold soars towards 8-year high as coronavirus cases jump

    * Second wave fears dampen risk appetite
    * European Union prepared to bar U.S. travellers-report
    * For an interactive graphic tracking the global coronavirus
spread, open tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7 in an external browser

 (Adds comments, updates prices)
    By Eileen Soreng
    June 24 (Reuters) - Gold surged to its highest in nearly
eight years on Wednesday as rising coronavirus cases globally
dented hopes of a rapid economic recovery and pushed investors
towards safe haven assets.
    Spot gold        rose 0.3% to $1,772.43 per ounce by 1213
GMT, having earlier hit its highest since October 2012 at
    U.S. gold futures        rose 0.6% to $1,791.80 per ounce.
    "Everybody is worried about a second wave of the coronavirus
not only in the U.S., but in Latin America, Brazil and Russia,
so that's supporting the rally," said Jigar Trivedi, commodities
analyst at Mumbai broker Anand Rathi Shares. 
    "People are expecting stimulus packages from central banks
and higher the stimulus, better the prospects for gold."
    The United States had a 25% increase in new cases of
COVID-19 in the week ended June 21 compared with the previous
seven days, while the death toll in Latin America has surpassed
100,000, a Reuters analysis found.                          
    The European Union is prepared to bar travellers from the
United States, the New York Times said.              
    The surge in coronavirus cases also weighed on global stock
    Global central banks have bumped up stimulus measures and
kept interest rates low to ease the economic blow from the
pandemic, driving a 17% rise in gold this year.             
    "Technicals are looking mighty bullish on the daily charts
... Solid daily close above $1,765 may encourage a move towards
$1,796 and $1,800," said FXTM analyst Lukman Otunuga. 
    Otunuga also said: "Any signs of the world economy
recovering quicker than expected is poised to boost attraction
towards riskier assets at the expense of safe-havens like gold."
    Indicative of investor sentiment, holdings in SPDR Gold
Trust      , rose 0.28% to 1,169.25 tonnes on Tuesday, its
highest level since April 2013.              
    Elsewhere, palladium        fell 0.2% to $1,920.76 per
ounce, platinum        fell 1.6%, to $816.01 per ounce.
    Silver        fell 0.9% to $17.79 per ounce.

 (Reporting by Eileen Soreng and Nakul Iyer in Bengaluru.
Editing by Jane Merriman)
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