June 24, 2020 / 1:12 AM / 13 days ago

PRECIOUS-Gold rallies to more than 7-1/2 year high on flight to safety

    June 24 (Reuters) - Gold prices hit its highest level since
October 2012 on Wednesday, as demand was boosted by worries over
a jump in coronavirus infections and hopes of more stimulus
measures to combat the economic blow. 
                
    FUNDAMENTALS    
    * Spot gold        was up 0.2% at $1,769.59 per ounce as of
0043 GMT after hitting $1,773, its highest level since late 2012
in early Asian trade.
    * U.S. gold futures        rose 0.4% to $1,789.20.
    * For a second consecutive week, Texas, Arizona and Nevada
set records in their coronavirus outbreaks, and 10 other U.S.
states from Florida to California were grappling with a surge in
infections.             
    * Coronavirus cases in the U.S. surged 25% in the week ended
June 21 compared from the week before, according to a Reuters
analysis.             
    * The European Union is prepared to bar U.S. travellers
because of the surge of cases in the country, putting it in the
same category as Brazil and Russia, the New York Times reported
on Tuesday.             
    * U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Tuesday said the
next stimulus bill will be focused on getting people back to
work quickly and that he would consider a further delay of the
tax filing deadline.             
    * Gold tends to benefit from widespread stimulus measures
from central banks because it is widely viewed as a hedge
against inflation and currency debasement.
    * Also helping gold, the dollar index        fell 0.1% and
hovered near a more than one-week low hit in the previous
session.       
    * A spike in new coronavirus infections weighed on investor
sentiment towards riskier assets.            
    * SPDR Gold Trust      , the world's largest gold-backed
exchange-traded fund, said its holdings rose 0.28% to 1,169.25
tonnes on Tuesday.           
    * Palladium        eased 0.1% to $1,921.26 per ounce,
platinum        was steady at $828.92 and silver        was
mostly unchanged at $17.96.

 (Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren
Daniel)
  
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