May 20, 2020 / 2:40 PM / 16 days ago

PRECIOUS-Gold firms on stimulus wave, doubts about possible vaccine

 (Updates prices)
    * Fed acknowledges possibility of further support
measures-minutes
    * Palladium hits 1-month high, platinum above 2-month peak
    * For an interactive graphic tracking the global coronavirus
spread, open tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7 in an external browser

    By Asha Sistla
    May 20 (Reuters) - Gold rose on Wednesday amid extensive
stimulus measures and uncertainty over a possible coronavirus
vaccine, but bullion's gains were limited as risk appetite
improved on hopes of an economic recovery.
    Spot gold        was up 0.3% at $1,749.29 per ounce by 2:05
p.m. EDT (1805 GMT). U.S. gold futures         settled up 0.4%
at $1,752.10.
    "In the midst of lesser need for safe-haven assets like
gold, the fact that gold continued to slowly rise speaks volumes
about its underlying strength based on the idea of liquidity
injection across the board from central banks and economies,"
said David Meger, director of metals trading at High Ridge
Futures.
    "On a slightly offsetting note" was the gain in equities on
optimism over the reopening of economies and pent-up consumer
demand, while developments surrounding Moderna Inc's         
vaccine tests were a "wild card" for markets, Meger added.
            
    Stock markets climbed on hopes of an economic recovery and
further stimulus.                 
    Massive global stimulus to limit the economic damage from
the coronavirus pandemic has supported gold, considered a hedge
against inflation and currency debasement.
    Gold also found support from minutes of the latest Federal
Reserve meeting, with members acknowledging the possibility of
further support measures if the economic downturn persists.
            
    Fed Chair Jerome Powell told lawmakers on Tuesday the U.S.
central bank was looking at extending access to credit
facilities to additional borrowers, including states with
smaller populations.              
    Recent dismal U.S. data, including massive jobless claims,
have underscored the economic blow from the pandemic, which has
infected almost 4.91 million people globally.             
    Among other precious metals, palladium        gained 1.4% at
$2,087.16 per ounce after touching a one-month peak. Silver
       rose 0.8% to $17.53 and platinum        climbed 1.7% to
$846.39, holding above a two-month high.

 (Reporting by Asha Sistla in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernadette
Baum, Paul Simao and Richard Chang)
  
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