July 21, 2020 / 1:17 AM / 14 days ago

PRECIOUS-Gold near nine-year high as virus fears support safe-haven demand

    July 21 (Reuters) - Gold edged up on Tuesday after scaling a
near nine-year high in the previous session, as demand was
boosted by worries over a spike in COVID-19 cases and
expectations of higher inflation from more stimulus measures to
mitigate the economic blow.
                                
    FUNDAMENTALS    
    * Spot gold        was up 0.1% at $1,818.53 per ounce by
0040 GMT, after hitting its highest since September 2011 at
$1,820.06 on Monday. U.S. gold futures        rose 0.1% to
$1,819.
    * More than 14.61 million people have been reported to be
infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 606,979​ have
died, according to a Reuters tally.             
    * Rising coronavirus cases in the United States has
intensified fears over a global economic recovery, driving fund
flows into safe-haven assets.             
    * European Union leaders appeared to near an agreement on
Monday on a 750-billion-euro stimulus plan for regional
economies hard-hit by the pandemic.             
    * Advisers to U.S. President Donald Trump and congressional
Democrats were set to discuss the next steps in responding to
the coronavirus crisis on Tuesday, with congressional
Republicans saying they were working on a $1 trillion relief
bill.             
    * Gold tends to benefit from widespread stimulus measures
from central banks because it is widely viewed as a hedge
against inflation and currency debasement.
    * Indicative of sentiment, holdings of SPDR Gold Trust      
rose 0.4% to 1,211.86 tonnes on Monday.          
    * The dollar index        fell to a more than four-month low
against a basket of major currencies.       
    * Meanwhile, the U.S. Commerce Department added 11 Chinese
companies implicated in what it called human rights violations
in connection with China's treatment of its Uighurs in Xinjiang
in western China to the U.S. economic blacklist.             
    * Asian shares were set to open higher after U.S. markets
gained ground on positive data from trials of three potential
COVID-19 vaccines.            
    * Palladium        fell 0.2% to $2,050.55 per ounce, while
platinum        rose 0.1% to $844.40 and silver        gained
0.3% to $19.89.

 (Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu
Sahu)
  
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