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

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 U.S. jobs data.

Spot gold was unchanged at $1,775.12 per ounce by 0232 GMT. U.S. markets are closed on Friday for observing Independence Day on July 4.

U.S. gold futures eased 0.1% to $1,787.80.

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

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

Florida reported more than 10,000 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, while over 10.76 million people have been infected worldwide.

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

More than 75 members of the U.S. 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.

Gold is considered a safe store of value during political and financial uncertainty.

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

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

The U.S. 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 was steady at $1,901.44 per ounce, while platinum rose 0.5% to $806.63, set for its first weekly gain in six.

Silver gained 0.6% to $17.90, heading for its fourth consecutive weekly gain.


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