Gold soars virus fears lift demand


JOHANNESBURG – Gold prices surged to an all-time high yesterday as fears about the economic fallout from rising COVID-19 cases boosted demand for the safe-haven metal, although gains were capped by an uptick in the U.S. dollar.

Spot gold was steady at US$1,973.75 per ounce by 0635 GMT, after hitting a record high of US$1,984.66 in early Asian trade.

US gold futures rose 0.3% to US$1,992.10.

“The sentiment across markets is deteriorating. First of all, rising infection rates are a real concern for the globe and a real support for gold prices. Given that, it is also driving US dollar higher,” said Michael McCarthy, chief strategist at CMC Markets.

Coronavirus cases continued to surge in the United States and stood at over 17.96 million globally.

Rising COVID-19 cases and simmering US-China tensions have dented hopes for a swift economic recovery, driving inflows into safe-haven assets such as gold, which climbed 30% so far this year.

“Gold also saw safe-haven demand as the federal unemployment bonus expired on Friday, which would affect US consumer income and spending and the US Central Bank would thus remain dovish,” Phillip Futures analysts said in a note.

US lawmakers struggled to hammer out a new stimulus plan. White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said on Sunday he was not optimistic on near-term deal for coronavirus relief bill.

Limiting gold’s advance, the dollar index rose 0.3% against its rivals, making bullion expensive for holders of others currencies.

China’s factory activity expanded at the fastest pace in nearly a decade in July, a survey showed.



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