June 19, 2020 / 1:31 AM / 23 days ago

PRECIOUS-Gold flat as coronavirus fears offset firmer dollar

    June 19 (Reuters) - Gold prices were little changed on
Friday as fears of a second wave of coronavirus infections
buoyed demand for the safe-haven asset, but a stronger U.S.
dollar and hopes of a swift economic recovery limited the
upside.
                
    FUNDAMENTALS    
    * Spot gold        was flat at $1,723.19 per ounce, as of
0048 GMT. Bullion has fallen 0.4% this week.
    * U.S. gold futures        edged 0.1% higher to $1,731.90
per ounce.
    * Mainland China reported 32 new coronavirus cases as of the
end of June 18, 25 of which were reported in the capital city
Beijing, China's National Health Commission said on Friday.
            
    * A surge in new infections in several U.S. states and the
imposition of travel curbs in Beijing to stop a new outbreak
there have served as a reminder of the risks of reopening
economic activity before a vaccine has been developed.
    * Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank President Loretta Mester
said it could take a year or two for the U.S. economy to return
to levels seen before the pandemic.             
    * Gold is often used as a safe store of value during times
of political and financial uncertainty.
    * Denting gold's appeal, the dollar index        rose 0.1%
and hovered near a two-week high hit in the previous session.
     
    * On Thursday, data showed initial claims for state
unemployment benefits in the United States dropped for the 11th
straight week, but the pace of U.S. labor market recovery
appeared to have stalled.             
    * U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday renewed his threat
to cut ties with China, a day after his top diplomats held talks
with Beijing.             
    * Palladium        dropped 1.1% to $1,903.30 per ounce,
silver        fell 0.7% to $17.38, while platinum        gained
0.1% to $805.34.
    
    DATA/EVENTS (GMT)
    
0600  UK  Retail Sales MM, YY      May
0600  UK  Retail Sales Ex-Fuel MM  May

 (Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren
Daniel)
  
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