June 26, 2020 / 3:38 PM / 10 days ago

PRECIOUS-Gold rebounds as record virus infections in U.S. knocks equities

    * Gold up 1.4% so far this week
    * Palladium set for biggest weekly fall in two months
    * Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus:
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tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7 in an external browser

 (Recasts, adds comments, details; updates prices)
    By Diptendu Lahiri
    June 26 (Reuters) - Gold erased earlier losses on Friday as
the relentless coronavirus spread globally with a record jump in
COVID-19 infections in the United States marring risk appetite
and setting the metal on track for its third straight weekly
rise.
    Spot gold        rose 0.3% to $1,767.28 per ounce by 1:50
p.m. EDT (1750 GMT). U.S. gold futures         settled 0.5% up
at $1,780.30.
    "Investors are getting nervous due to the current rise in
coronavirus cases and quitting their positions in riskier assets
like stocks, while parking their investments in gold and bonds,"
said Bob Haberkorn, senior market strategist at RJO Futures.
    Wall Street's major indexes dropped and benchmark 10-year
            yield slipped to its lowest since early June as the
United States set a new record for a one-day increase in
coronavirus cases.           
    Gold has gained 1.4% so far this week, but retreated
slightly from its highest level since October 2012 hit on
Wednesday as the rival safe-haven U.S. dollar took some shine
off the precious metal amid rising coronavirus cases.       
    More than 9.62 million people have been reported to be
infected by the novel coronavirus globally.             
    "We might see gold breaking the $1,800 level ...
fundamentals for gold are quite strong with rising coronavirus
cases, no vaccines yet and stimulus from major central banks
globally leading to concerns of inflation," said Edward Moya,
senior market analyst at broker OANDA.
    Easy monetary policies and a string of stimulus measures by
major central banks to stem the virus impact have sparked
concerns of inflation, driving bullion prices about 16.5% higher
this year.
    In other metals, palladium        rose 1.5% to $1,869.24 
per ounce, but was on track for its biggest weekly decline since
the week ending May 1.
    Platinum        fell 1.4% to $792.60 an ounce and silver
       dropped 0.3% to $17.82.

 (Reporting by Diptendu Lahiri in Bengaluru; editing by Emelia
Sithole-Matarise and Jonathan Oatis)
  
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