May 7, 2020 / 4:35 AM / 20 days ago

PRECIOUS-Gold gains as grim data stirs doubts about economic recovery

 (Updates prices)
    * Gold up after last session's over 1% drop
    * U.S. weekly initial jobless claims due at 1230 GMT
    * Dollar touches more than one-week high
    * For an interactive graphic tracking the global spread,
open tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7
 in an external browser

    By Shreyansi Singh
    May 7 (Reuters) - Gold rose on Thursday as bleak economic
data raised doubts about a recovery in the coronavirus-hit
global economy even though some countries started easing
lockdown measures.
    Spot gold        gained 0.2% to $1,688.55 per ounce by 0739
GMT. U.S. gold futures         rose 0.2% to $1,691.60 per ounce.
    "There is a lot of uncertainty, markets are still trying to
gauge what will happen after we come out of lockdown," said 
Stephen Innes, chief market strategist at financial services
firm AxiCorp.
     Weak economic growth in most countries is also supporting
the dollar, putting a lid on bullion's gains, he added.       
                         
    The dollar        touched a more than one-week high against
a basket of major currencies earlier in the session.
    Gold declined more than 1% in the previous session on a
firmer dollar and as some bullion refineries restarted
production, easing concerns over global supply.             
    Highlighting the deepening impact of the coronavirus
pandemic, U.S. private employers laid off a record 20.236
million workers in April as the outbreak ravaged the world's top
economy.             
    The euro zone economy is set to contract by a record 7.7%
this year because of the pandemic, the European Commission
forecast on Wednesday.             
    Investors now await the U.S. weekly initial jobless claims
data due later in the day for further direction, while keeping a
close watch on developments surrounding U.S.-China relations
after President Donald Trump threatened new tariffs on Beijing.
                          
    "Gold in the short-term could struggle, but the macro driver
continues to point to a rally to record high territory (in
dollar terms) later this year," Edward Moya, a senior market
analyst at broker OANDA, said in a note.
    Economic activity is expected to have a much slower rebound
this quarter and that should continue to support expectations
that global monetary and fiscal stimulus efforts will only
intensify, Moya added.
    Central banks around the world have slashed interest rates
over the past few months and unveiled unprecedented amounts of
stimulus to help soften the blow to the world economy from the
pandemic.              
    Gold, a safe investment during times of political and
financial uncertainty, tends to benefit from widespread stimulus
measures because it is widely viewed as a hedge against
inflation and currency debasement.
    Elsewhere, palladium        gained 1.4% to $1,822.14 per
ounce, platinum        climbed 1.3% to $758.63 and silver       
edged up 0.5% to $14.99.

 (Reporting by Shreyansi Singh in Bengaluru; additional
reporting by Swati Verma; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu, Aditya
Soni)
  
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