(Updates prices) * Gold poised to reach $1,800/oz - analyst * Global economy may shrink by 3% in 2020 - IMF * SPDR Gold Holdings rise to highest since May 2013 * Interactive graphic tracking the global spread: open tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7 in an external browser By Asha Sistla April 15 (Reuters) - Gold prices fell on Wednesday as investors locked in profits after the metal rallied to a more than seven-year high in the previous session, but fears of a deep global economic recession due to the coronavirus pandemic limited losses. Spot gold was down 0.7% at $1,715.02 per ounce, as of 0643 GMT. In the previous session, it jumped as much as 1.9% to its highest since Nov. 2012 at $1,746.50. U.S. gold futures fell 1.1% to $1,748.60. "Gold is consolidating gains at the top of its range … but there's so much uncertainty in the world and so much of conflicting information that's also supportive for gold," said Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst at OANDA. There was some profit-taking in gold, Halley said, adding "stocks and gold have been pumped to these levels by the recent $2 trillion of extra stimulus announced by the U.S. Federal Reserve". Demand for gold tends to benefit from widespread stimulus from central banks, as it is often seen as a hedge against inflation and currency debasement. Lower interest rates also cut the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion. Asian shares paused near one-month highs, as warnings of a deep recession dampened investor optimism that the slowing spread of the coronavirus could allow businesses to re-open. While the top infectious disease adviser of U.S. President Donald Trump said the May 1 target for restarting the economy is "overly optimistic", the Fed was grappling with the challenge of how to re-open the economy, having launched a funding backstop. The retreat from riskier assets followed the International Monetary Fund's prediction that the global economy may shrink by 3% in 2020 due to the pandemic, in the worst downturn since the Great Depression. The contagion, which has infected more than 1.9 million people and killed 120,670, has forced countries to shut activity and prompted central banks to unleash unprecedented support measures. Gold exchange traded funds continued to see inflows, with holdings of the world's largest gold-backed ETF, SPDR Gold Trust now near its highest since May 2013, at 1,017.59 tonnes. Elsewhere, palladium edged 0.1% higher to $2,220.20 per ounce. "We continue to expect the palladium market to be undersupplied this year and next year, despite latest industry expectations for auto sales to plummet by at least 14%," Standard Chartered Bank analysts said in a note, adding the auto-catalyst metal will be supported above $2,000 "for now". Silver dropped 1.6% to $15.55, while platinum advanced 0.8% to $780.93. (Reporting by Asha Sistla in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)
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