Gold eases off multi-year peak as virus surge drives cash hunt

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Gold edged lower on Thursday, easing off a near eight-year high hit in the last session, as a selloff in equity markets driven by a surge in coronavirus cases prompted some investors to dump assets.

Spot gold was down 0.1% at $1,760.39 per ounce as of 0307 GMT, having soared to its highest level since October 2012 of $1,779.06 on Wednesday. U.S. gold futures fell 0.2% to $1,771.80.

Indicative of gold’s overall appeal, which has driven a 16% jump in prices this year, holdings of the world’s biggest gold-backed exchanged traded fund, the SPDR Gold Trust , hit their highest in over seven years.

Asian stock markets fell on surging U.S. coronavirus cases and an International Monetary Fund downgrade to economic projections, driving inflows into alternate safe haven dollar.

Gold has, on occasion, moved in tandem with equity markets this year, with steep selloffs driving a rush for cash and as traders met margin calls.

Three U.S. states reported record increases in new cases on Wednesday.

There has been a rise in cases elsewhere as well, including Brazil, Latin America and India, which is also the world’s second biggest bullion consumer. On the physical side, jewellery consumption is likely to remain modest, “limiting the scope for further increases in prices,” said National Australia Bank economist John Sharma.

Palladium jumped 0.8% to $1,878.45 per ounce, platinum gained 0.1% to $800.29 and silver rose 0.2% at $17.55.

Via Reuters

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