March 24, 2020 / 4:23 AM / 11 days ago

PRECIOUS-Gold rises as Fed bonanza stalls cash rush

 (Updates prices)
    * Physical gold supply hit by Swiss refinery closures -
analyst
    * Silver up 3%, palladium rises over 6%
    * FACTBOX-Latest on spread of coronavirus globally
            

    By Asha Sistla
    March 24 (Reuters) - Gold rose 2% on Tuesday, extending
gains from a near 4% surge in the previous session, after the
U.S. Federal Reserve's unprecedented measures to help an economy
reeling from the coronavirus pandemic halted a rush for cash.
    Spot gold        rose 1.3% to $1,572.45 per ounce by 0637
GMT. The metal rose 3.7% on Monday, its highest percentage gain
since June 2016. 
    U.S. gold futures         climbed 1.9% to $1,596.70.
    "Gold is surging higher after the Fed went above and beyond
in unveiling measures to support the economy," said Edward Moya,
a senior market analyst at broker OANDA. 
    The U.S. central bank on Monday rolled out an extraordinary
array of programs and will lend against student loans, credit
card loans, and U.S. government backed-loans to small
businesses.             
    That failed to push Wall Street higher on Monday, but it was
enough to drive a rebound in Asian shares. 
    Meanwhile, a coronavirus economic stimulus package, remained
stalled in the U.S. Senate on Monday as lawmakers haggled over
its provisions, but the U.S. Treasury secretary and the Senate
Democratic leader voiced confidence a deal would be reached
soon.                 
    "The U.S. Senate setback seems only temporary and gold
traders are feeling pretty confident that at the end of the
week, massive fiscal and monetary stimulus should help calm
markets. If market volatility stabilizes somewhat, gold will
resume its safe-haven status," said OANDA's Moya.
    President Donald Trump said on Monday he is considering how
to reopen the U.S. economy when a 15-day shutdown ends next
week, even as the virus spreads rapidly.             
    Global central banks took various measures to mitigate the
damage of the outbreak, which has infected over 351,300 and
killed more than 15,300 people globally.
    Australia's central bank proposed to buy $2.35 billion in
government bonds and Germany agreed for a package worth up to
$808 billion.                          
    Also propping up bullion markets was the closure of three of
the world's largest gold refineries in Switzerland due to the
outbreak that has squeezed supply of the physical metal, Stephen
Innes, chief market strategist at financial services firm
AxiCorp, said in a note.              
   "There is just not enough around to support the underlying
promissory notes (paper gold)... It's a godsend for bullion
investors." 
    Holdings of the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded
fund, SPDR Gold Trust      , rose 1.8% to 923.99 tonnes on
Monday.          
    Palladium        surged 6.2% to $1,825.79 per ounce, silver
       advanced 3.2% to $13.67 and platinum        rose 2.3% to
$657.41 per ounce.

 (Reporting by Asha Sistla and K. Sathya Narayanan in Bengaluru;
Editing by Amy Caren Daniel)
  
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