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Gold steadies in tight range as virus fears offset solid US jobs data

Spot gold was little changed at $1,774.18 per ounce by 0456 GMT. US markets are closed on Friday for observing Independence Day on July 4. US gold futures eased 0.2% to $1,786.50.

By: Reuters | Published: July 3, 2020 11:07:38 am
An employee holds a one kilogram fine gold bar in the precious metals vault at Pro Aurum KG in Munich, Germany, on Wednesday, July 10, 2019. (Photographer: Michaela Handrek-Rehle/Bloomberg)

Gold was flat, trading in a narrow $4 range on Friday, as worries over surging coronavirus cases globally and lingering trade tensions between the United States and China overshadowed strong US jobs data.

Spot gold was little changed at $1,774.18 per ounce by 0456 GMT. US markets are closed on Friday for observing Independence Day on July 4.

US gold futures eased 0.2% to $1,786.50.

“Nagging doubts appear to remain in investors’ minds about the explosion of COVID-19 cases in the US sunbelt states and its possible negative effect on the recovery going forward,” said Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst at OANDA.

The United States reported more than 55,000 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, a new daily global record for the pandemic, while over 10.89 million people have been infected worldwide.

“Geopolitical considerations are also to the fore… with a holiday in the US, and the weekend upon us, some haven-directed buying of gold is definitely evident,” Halley added.

Markets also kept a wary eye on China’s trade relations with the United States.

More than 75 members of the US Congress sent a letter to President Donald Trump urging him to take make a formal determination on whether China’s treatment of Muslim Uighurs and other groups constitutes an atrocity.

Indicative of sentiment, holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, rose 0.8% to 1,191.47 tonnes on Thursday.

Stemming bullion’s advance, better-than-expected US jobs reports lifted sentiment in wider financial markets.

The US economy created jobs at a record clip in June, but 31.5 million Americans were collecting unemployment checks in the middle of the month.

Palladium fell 0.4% to $1,894.81 per ounce, while platinum rose 0.6% to $807.68, set for its first weekly gain in six.

Silver gained 0.6% to $18, heading for its fourth consecutive weekly gain.

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