March 20, 2020 / 1:28 AM / 12 days ago

PRECIOUS-Gold gains but set for weekly drop amid flight for cash

    March 20 (Reuters) - Gold prices rose on Friday after a fall
in the previous session, but the metal was on track to post its
second weekly drop due to a rush for cash amid the widening
economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak.   
    * Spot gold        rose 0.4% to $1,475.43 per ounce by 0029
GMT. It was down more than 3% for the week.
    * The metals fell more than 1% on Thursday as the dollar
jumped to multi-year highs and investors continued to sell
assets to hoard cash.             
    * U.S. gold futures        fell 0.3% to $1,474.20 per ounce.
    * MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
                firmed 0.6%, while Australia's beleaguered
market         rose 2.9%.            
    * The U.S. Federal Reserve opened the taps for central banks
in nine new countries to access dollars in hopes of preventing
the coronavirus epidemic from causing a global economic rout.
    * The United States warned Americans on Thursday to return
home or stay abroad indefinitely, while Senate Republicans
unveiled a $1 trillion economic stimulus plan to provide funds
directly to businesses and the American public, as the number of
virus cases in the country surged past 13,000.             
    * The Bank of England promised 200 billion pounds of bond
purchases and cut its key interest rate to 0.1% in a second
emergency move in just over a week to try to mitigate the hit to
Britain's economy from the outbreak.             
    * The global economy is already in a recession as the hit to
economic activity from the virus has become more widespread,
according to economists polled by Reuters amid a raft of central
bank stimulus actions this week.             
    * The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits
surged by the most since 2012 to a 2-1/2-year high last week, as
companies in the services sectors laid off workers because of
the epidemic.             
    * The outbreak caused the steepest drop in German
manufacturers' expectations in the 70-year history of surveys,
data showed.             
    * SPDR Gold Trust      , the world's largest gold-backed
exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.16% to 922.23
tonnes on Thursday.          
    * Palladium        fell 0.5% to $1,644.04 per ounce.
Platinum        rose 1.6% to $595.69 but was set to post its
biggest ever weekly fall. 
    * Silver        gained 0.4% to $12.16, but was on track to
post its biggest weekly decline since September 2011.
1400 U.S. Existing Home Sales (Feb)

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