July 7, 2020 / 3:41 PM / a month ago

PRECIOUS-Gold a whisker away from $1,800 level as virus cases spike

 (Updates prices)
    * Spot gold hits highest since November 2011 
    * Platinum jumps 2.8%, scales near one-month high
    * Business 'getting nervous again' as virus surges-Fed's
Bostic 
    * Interactive graphic on spreading coronavirus: tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7
 in an external browser

    By Shreyansi Singh and Swati Verma
    July 7 (Reuters) - Gold bounced back on Tuesday, within a
striking distance of the key $1,800 per ounce level, as a sharp
jump in COVID-19 cases boosted hopes for more accommodative
monetary policy measures and demand for the safe-haven metal.
    Spot gold        jumped 0.7% to $1,796.08 per ounce by 2:01
p.m. EDT (1801 GMT). U.S. gold futures        settled up 0.9% at
1,809.90 per ounce, having earlier hit its highest since
September 2011 at $1,810.80. 
    Gold rose to its highest since November 2011 at $1,796.80 an
ounce earlier, just a few dollars away from the $1,800
psychological level.
    "Whenever there is fear, that is always a supporting factor
for gold, whether it's coronavirus, or fear of the economy not
doing well," said Michael Matousek, head trader at U.S. Global
Investors.
    "If your portfolio is underweight gold and if it looks like
gold might continually start to create a new rally, you will
want to add to it."
    Massive stimulus measures to limit the economic damage from
the coronavirus pandemic has supported gold, widely viewed as a
hedge against inflation and currency debasement. Prices have
gained more than 18% so far this year.
    The surge in U.S. coronavirus cases has made business owners
"nervous again," Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank President Raphael
Bostic said on Tuesday.                         
    Gold staged a comeback, having dropped to a session low of
$1,773.37 an ounce earlier.
    "We had early weakness in prices, seen as a buying
opportunity by bullish traders reckoning prices will go higher
from here and we indeed pushed to a new nearly nine year high in
gold futures today," Kitco Metals senior analyst Jim Wyckoff.
    "Gold and silver traders are also looking further down the
road at the inflationary implications of all the central bank
measures that have infused cash into the system."
    Silver        rose 0.6% to $18.31 an ounce.
    Palladium        slid 0.8% to $1,923.01 per ounce, while
platinum        jumped 2.8% to $835.88, rising to its highest in
nearly one month earlier.

 (Reporting by Shreyansi Singh and Swati Verma in Bengaluru;
Editing by Richard Chang and Marguerita Choy)
  
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