March 26, 2020 / 1:20 AM / 15 days ago

PRECIOUS-Gold falls on cash run, markets await U.S. stimulus

    March 26 (Reuters) - Gold prices fell on Thursday as
investors scurried for liquid cash while awaiting the passage of
a $2 trillion dollar U.S. stimulus package to combat the
economic impact of the coronavirus epidemic.
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold        fell 0.6% to $1,604.16 per ounce by 0038
GMT.
    * U.S. gold futures        were up 0.3% at $1,639 an ounce.
    * Republican and Democratic leaders of the U.S. Senate hoped
to vote on Wednesday on the $2 trillion emergency package to
alleviate the devastating economic impact of the virus.
            
    * A last-minute obstacle to the passage of the stimulus bill
was in the process of being resolved and would likely clear the
way for prompt approval of the measure, Senator Lindsey Graham
said.             
    * Asian stock markets made a cautious start following two
days of rallies, as investors awaited the passage and details of
the U.S. stimulus package to combat the economic fallout from
the virus.            
    * New orders for key U.S.-made capital goods fell sharply in
February as demand for machinery and other products slumped,
suggesting a deepening contraction in business investment that
analysts said signalled the economy was already in recession.
            
    * European Central Bank chief Christine Lagarde asked euro
zone finance ministers during a video conference on Tuesday
evening to seriously consider a one-off joint debt issue of
"coronabonds" to help fight the epidemic, four officials said.
            
    * Germany's economy could contract by as much as 20% this
year due to the virus impact, an Ifo economist said on
Wednesday.             
    * The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund urged
official bilateral creditors to provide immediate debt relief to
the world's poorest countries as they grapple with severe
consequences of the virus.             
    * SPDR Gold Trust      , the world's largest gold-backed
exchange-traded fund, said its holdings rose 1.41% to 949.15
tonnes on Wednesday.
    * Palladium        rose 2.9% to $2,383.23 an ounce, having
risen about 20% in the previous session as a lockdown in major
producer South Africa exacerbated supply woes.             
    * Platinum        fell 1.6% to $726.48 an ounce, while
silver        was down 0.4% to $14.37.
    
DATA/EVENTS (GMT)
0700 UK   Retail Sales MM, YY      Feb
0700 UK   Retail Sales Ex-Fuel MM  Feb
1200 UK   BOE Bank Rate            March
1200 UK   GB BOE QE Corp           March
1230 U.S. GDP Final                Q4
1230 U.S. Initial Jobless Claims   Weekly    

 (Reporting by K. Sathya Narayanan in Bengaluru; Editing by
Subhranshu Sahu)
  
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