July 10, 2020 / 1:30 AM / a month ago

PRECIOUS-Gold set for 5th weekly gain as pandemic rages

    July 10 (Reuters) - Gold was set for a fifth straight weekly
gain as the COVID-19 pandemic showed no signs of abating,
keeping the safe-haven metal above the key $1,800 level on
Friday. 
                    
    FUNDAMENTALS        
    * Spot gold        was little changed at $1,801.69 by 0041
GMT, up more than 1.5% for the week. 
    * U.S. gold futures        rose 0.2% to $1,806.90 per ounce.
    * More than 60,000 fresh COVID-19 cases were reported across
the United States on Wednesday, the biggest ever single-day
tally by any country.             
    * Data showed U.S. shoppers were staying out of stores in
areas where cases are rising the most, dampening hopes of a
quick economic recovery. 
    * The number of Americans filing for jobless benefits
dropped to a near four-month low last week, but a record 32.9
million people were collecting unemployment checks in the third
week of June, supporting expectations the labour market would
take years to recover.             
    * Reflecting risk-off sentiment, Asian equities were set to
open mostly lower on concerns of fresh lockdowns in the United
States.            
    * The Bank of Japan cut its economic view for all of the
country's regions for the second straight quarter, the first
such downgrade since 2008. German exports rebounded less than
expected in May.                          
    * Chinese state lenders are revamping contingency plans in
anticipation of U.S. sanctions over the new national security
law for Hong Kong, sources said.             
    * Gold is used as a safe investment during times of
political and financial uncertainty.     
    * SPDR Gold Trust      , the world's largest gold-backed
exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.15% to 1,200.82
tonnes on Thursday.          
    * Palladium        fell 0.3% to $1,937.95 per ounce,
platinum        declined 0.7% to $827.73 and silver       
slipped 0.1% to $18.65.
   
    DATA/EVENTS (GMT)
 1200  India    Industrial Output YY     May
  --   Belgium  EU finance ministers discuss measures to respond
to the COVID-19 crisis 

 (Reporting by Harshith Aranya in Bengaluru; Editing by
Subhranshu Sahu)
  
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