July 24, 2020 / 1:16 AM / 21 days ago

PRECIOUS-Gold heads for best week in 3 months on U.S.-China woes

    July 24 (Reuters) - Gold held steady on Friday en route to
its best week in more than three months, driven by an escalation
in U.S.-China tensions, with investors also looking for a hedge
against possible inflation as hopes for more stimulus measures
grow. 
                                
    FUNDAMENTALS    
    * Spot gold        was little changed at $1,885.62 per ounce
by 0041 GMT, after hitting its highest since September 2011 at
$1,897.16 on Thursday. U.S. gold futures        eased 0.3% to
$1,884.60.
    * Prices have risen more then 4% so far this week, their
biggest weekly percentage gain since April 10.
    * China said the U.S. move to close its Houston consulate
this week had "severely harmed" relations and warned it "must"
retaliate, without providing details of what it would do.
            
    * Gold is often used as a safe store of value during times
of political and financial uncertainty.
    * U.S. Senate Republicans will unveil their proposal for a
fresh round of coronavirus aid next week, including more direct
payments to Americans, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
said.             
    * Coronavirus cases continue to rise in the United States,
while more than 15.35 million people have been reported to be
infected by the virus globally.             
    * The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits
unexpectedly rose last week for the first time in nearly four
months, data showed on Thursday.             
    * Asian markets are set to open mostly lower as China vowed
to retaliate against a U.S. order to close one of its
consulates.            
    * Silver        fell 0.3% to $22.66 per ounce, while
platinum        rose 0.9% to $913.86 and palladium        was
steady at $2,125.89.
    
    DATA/EVENTS (GMT)
0800  EU       Markit Mfg, Serv, Comp Flash PMIs  July
1345  US       Markit Mfg, Serv, Comp Flash PMIs  July
1400  US       New Home sales-Units               June    

 (Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna
Chandra Eluri)
  
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