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Gold falls 1% as nations plan to ease coronavirus lockdowns

Spot gold slipped 1.0% to $1,697.31 per ounce by 0348 GMT. US gold futures fell 0.6% to $1,713.00 per ounce.

By: Reuters | April 28, 2020 12:49:27 pm
Gold edges down on stronger dollar, US-China trade woes limit losses While gold may be primed for further gains, lower physical demand from top consumers India and China might make the metal’s strengthening harder to sustain. (File photo)

Gold fell more than 1% on Tuesday as some countries planned to gradually ease coronavirus restrictions, although recession concerns and a retreat in riskier assets kept the bullion near the $1,700-level.

Spot gold slipped 1.0% to $1,697.31 per ounce by 0348 GMT. US gold futures fell 0.6% to $1,713.00 per ounce.

Some countries, including Italy and New Zealand, announced easing of lockdowns and more US states looked to restart businesses, while Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said it was too early to relax restrictions.

“The fact that we’re seeing these attempts from different countries to at least partially reopen is providing some downside to gold,” said ING analyst Warren Patterson.

Business shutdowns have led to a record 26.5 million Americans filing for unemployment benefits since mid-March and are likely to push the unemployment rate to 16% or higher in the next jobs report.

Adding to mounting evidence of the pandemic’s economic toll, Japan’s March jobless rate rose to its highest in a year, while job availability slipped to a more than three-year low, official data showed.

“The impact from the shutdown is going to be felt for quite some time moving forward through macro data, and that will continue to support gold,” Patterson said, adding that a low interest rate environment would continue to benefit gold.

Asian shares and US stock futures dipped into the red, erasing gains as a fresh rout in oil markets overshadowed
optimism about the easing of curbs.

Investors await the outcome of the European Central Bank’s meeting this week. On Monday, the Bank of Japan expanded monetary stimulus and pledged to buy an unlimited amount of bonds to keep borrowing costs low.

Bullion tends to benefit from widespread stimulus measures as it is often seen as a hedge against inflation and currency debasement.

While gold may be primed for further gains, lower physical demand from top consumers India and China might make the metal’s strengthening harder to sustain.

On the technical front, bullion may fall to $1,677, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.

Palladium rose 1.1% to $1,946.93 an ounce and platinum gained 0.2% to $759.34 per ounce, while silver fell 1.7% to $15.02 per ounce.

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