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PRECIOUS-Gold gains as gloomy U.S. economic outlook dents dollar

    * Gold up 0.2% so far this week, silver up 3%
    * New U.S. unemployment benefit claims back above 1 mln mark
    * Washington declines to acknowledge plans to meet China on
trade
    * Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus:
open
tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7 in an external browser

 (Updates prices)
    By Brijesh Patel
    Aug 21 (Reuters) - Gold prices rose on Friday after bleak
U.S. jobless claims data reinforced fears of a slower recovery
from the coronavirus-induced economic crisis, denting the dollar
and U.S. Treasury yields.
    Spot gold        was up 0.2% at $1,947.04 per ounce by 0655
GMT. Gold is up 0.2% so far this week, having shed 4.5% in the
week to Aug. 14, its worst in five months.
    U.S. gold futures         rose 0.4% to $1,954.40.
    "A deterioration in U.S. labour market data, falling bond
yields and continued geopolitical tensions continue to support
gold," said National Australia Bank economist John Sharma.
    "We see gold trading between $1,920 and $1,980 in the near
term," he said, adding that factors such as rising risk
sentiment and progress on the coronavirus vaccine front could
dent demand.
    A technology stocks-fuelled rally on Wall Street drove Asian
markets higher on Friday, limiting gold's advance.            
    Data on Thursday showed the number of Americans filing a new
claim for unemployment benefits rose unexpectedly back above the
1 million mark last week, a setback for a struggling U.S. job
market crippled by the coronavirus pandemic.             
    This sent the dollar index        and benchmark 10-year
Treasury yields lower, making gold an attractive investment for
holders of other currencies.             
    Adding to doubts over a swift U.S. economic rebound, 
Federal Reserve officials on Wednesday warned that a recovery
faced a highly uncertain path, helping gold recover from a more
than 3% slump earlier this week.             
    "Despite the rebound in prices, precious metals do have
short-term downside risks that would continue to affect prices,"
Phillip Futures analysts said in a note.
    Meanwhile, the Trump administration declined to acknowledge
any plans to meet with China over the Phase 1 trade deal.
            
    Elsewhere, silver        was steady at $27.22 per ounce and
was poised for a weekly rise of about 3%
    Platinum        climbed 0.4% to $921.16, while palladium
       fell 0.4% to $2,171.99.

 (Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu
Sahu)
  
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