March 3, 2020 / 1:28 AM / in a month

PRECIOUS-Gold inches up as virus spread fuels rate cut bets

    March 3 (Reuters) - Gold prices inched up on Tuesday on
increasing bets of an interest rate cut by global central banks
to mitigate the economic impact from the fast-spreading
coronavirus outbreak.
    
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold        was up 0.1% at $1,592.07 per ounce as of
0046 GMT.
    * U.S. gold futures        was steady at $1,594.20 an ounce.
    * Traders on Monday piled into bets that the U.S. Federal
Reserve will deliver a big dose of stimulus starting this month
amid concerns over the economic impact and indications that
global central banks are readying a monetary rescue.
            
    * The global economy is set to grow only 2.4% this year, the
lowest since 2009, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation
and Development said on Monday             
    * The European Central Bank (ECB) on Monday joined the
chorus of central banks signalling a readiness to deal with the
growing threats from the outbreak.             
    * Lower interest rate reduces the opportunity cost of
holding non-yielding bullion.
    * Mainland China reported 125 new confirmed cases of
coronavirus infections, with the virus spreading much more
rapidly outside China than within, while six people in the
Seattle area have died of the illness caused by the epidemic. 
                                      
    * U.S. factory manufacturing activity slowed in February as
new orders contracted, reflecting worries about supply chain
disruptions related to the outbreak, which has revived financial
market fears of a recession, data on Monday showed.             
    * Having pared interest rates deep into sub-zero territory
and pumped in 2.6 trillion euros ($2.89 trillion) worth of
stimulus via asset purchases, the European Central Bank may not
have much left to give investors baying for more policy support.
            
    * SPDR Gold Trust      , the world's largest gold-backed
exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.3% to 931.01
tonnes on Monday.          
    * Palladium        gained 0.8% to $2,451.46 per ounce and
platinum        rose 1.2% to $870.99.
    * Silver        was up 0.5% at $16.81 per ounce.
    
DATA/EVENTS (GMT)    
1000 EU HICP Flash YY (Feb)
1000 EU HICP-X F&E Flash Sale (Feb)
1000 EU Unemployment Rate  (Jan)


($1 = 0.8994 euros)

 (Reporting by K. Sathya Narayanan in Bengaluru; editing by
Uttaresh.V)
  
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