March 23, 2020 / 4:05 AM / 18 days ago

PRECIOUS-Gold falls as cash dash, strong dollar override stimulus

(Updates prices)

* Dollar hovers near 3-year high against major currencies

* Coronavirus global death toll over 14,000

* Spot gold to retest support at $1,452/oz - analyst

* Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus: open tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7 in an external browser.

By Asha Sistla

March 23 (Reuters) - Gold prices fell on Monday as investors stockpiled cash, with a rising numbers of coronavirus-led national lockdowns threatening to overshadow stimulus measures from global central banks to combat the pandemic’s economic damage.

Spot gold slipped 0.6% to $1,488.00 per ounce by 0825 GMT, after rising as much as 3.1% in the previous session on a wave of stimulus.

U.S. gold futures climbed 0.5% to $1,491.50.

“For the time being, gold is not serving as a safe-haven because of margin calls and panic. There is capital outflow from everywhere,” said Vandana Bharti, assistant vice-president of commodity research at SMC Comtrade.

“(Investors) are winding up their positions. It’s not technical or fundamental - it’s all panic.”

Asian shares sank as a rising tide of lockdowns threatened to overwhelm policymakers’ frantic efforts to cushion what is likely to be a deep global recession.

Another concern is the possibility of central banks having to sell gold to buy dollars as the greenback continues to strengthen, said Stephen Innes, chief market strategist at financial services firm AxiCorp.

The dollar held near a three-year high against major currencies as fresh declines in global stocks and worries about tightening liquidity amid the worsening crisis accelerated the flight to cash.

The U.S. Federal Reserve continued to roll out emergency support on Friday as it enhanced efforts with other major central banks to ease a global dollar-funding crunch.

Market participants are counting on further policy easing in the next few days as the U.S. Senate mulls a $1 trillion package that would include direct financial help for Americans.

Airlines cancelled more flights as Australia and New Zealand advised against non-essential domestic travel, the United Arab Emirates halted flights for two weeks, and Singapore and Taiwan banned foreign transit passengers.

Meanwhile, nearly one in three Americans were ordered to stay home to slow the spread of the disease, while Italy banned internal travel as deaths there reached 5,476 and China reported 46 new cases on Sunday that were mostly imported from overseas.

The global death toll from the coronavirus exceeded over 14,000 with more than 300,000 infections.

Spot gold is expected to retest a support at $1,452 per ounce, a break below which could cause a fall to $1,374, said Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.

Among other precious metals, palladium inched up 0.2% to $1,644.99 per ounce, platinum shed 0.2% to $609.56 and silver slid 0.9% to $12.47.

Reporting by Asha Sistla and K. Sathya Narayanan in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu, Aditya Soni and Amy Caren Daniel

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