June 25, 2020 / 1:33 AM / 12 days ago

PRECIOUS-Gold firms as fears of second pandemic wave boost safe-haven bids

    June 25 (Reuters) - Gold prices edged higher on Thursday, as
concerns over rising coronavirus cases dented hopes of a swift
economic recovery, driving investors towards the safe-haven
    * Spot gold        was up 0.2% at $1,764.20 per ounce as of
0059 GMT. 
    * On Wednesday, prices hit a near eight-year high of
$1,779.06. But they ended lower as investors booked profits,
snapping a three day winning streak.
    * U.S. gold futures        eased 0.1% to $1,773.60.
    * Three U.S. states reported record increases in new cases
on Wednesday -- Florida, Oklahoma and South Carolina. More than
9.3 million people have been reported to be infected by the
coronavirus globally.             
    * The governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut
ordered travellers from nine other U.S. states to quarantine for
14 days on arrival.             
    * The International Monetary Fund (IMF) slashed its 2020
global output forecasts further as it sees deeper and wider
damage from the pandemic than first thought.             
    * Central banks worldwide have adopted aggressive stimulus
measures and kept interest rates low during the crisis. 
    * Gold, considered a safe investment during times of
political and financial uncertainty, tends to benefit from
widespread stimulus measures as its is widely viewed as a hedge
against inflation and currency debasement.
    * Indicative of sentiment, SPDR Gold Trust holdings      ,
rose 0.65% to 1,176.85 tonnes.             
    * Asian markets were set to follow a tumble in Wall Street
stocks after surging coronavirus cases and the IMF's subdued
projections shook confidence in a recovery.            
    * The dollar index        rose 0.1% against a basket of
major currencies.       
    * Palladium        jumped 0.9% to $1,880.25 per ounce,
platinum        gained 0.2% to $801.43 and silver        rose
0.2% at $17.56.
1230  US  Durable Goods           May
1230  US  GDP Final               Q1
1230  US  Initial Jobless Claims  Weekly

 (Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi
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