(Adds comments, updates prices) * Bullion down 3.3% so far this week * Palladium eyes 5th straight weekly drop * U.S. jobless claims rise to 30.3 mln since March 21 * For an interactive graphic tracking the global spread, open tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7 in an external browser By K. Sathya Narayanan May 1 (Reuters) - Gold fell on Friday, giving up early gains en route to its worst week in more than a month on growing optimism that global coronavirus containment measures would be eased, offering potential respite from economic gloom. Spot gold fell 0.6% to $1,670.88 per ounce by 0754 GMT. U.S. gold futures fell 1% to $1,677.50. Gold was down about 3.3% for the week, its biggest drop since mid-March, having slumped nearly 2% on Thursday. "Comments about easing restrictions in a number of countries and some encouraging news about the drug Remdesivir for treating the coronavirus has led to increased optimism, and lowered demand for gold," said National Australia Bank economist John Sharma. Half of all U.S. states forged ahead with their strategies for easing restrictions on restaurants, retail and other businesses in hopes of reviving the virus-stricken commerce. "The virus is far from over, but the wave of positive news had taken some air out of gold's wings," said Edward Moya, a senior market analyst at broker OANDA. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson too promised to set out a plan next week on how Britain might start gradually returning to normal life. There were still plenty of uncertainties over the timing of any moves to ease lockdowns, however, and worries that any such steps might result in secondary outbreaks, said Michael McCarthy, chief strategist at CMC Markets. Bullion also rose as much as 0.6% earlier in the session as dismal data from the United States underscored the deep economic impact of the virus, before reversing course. "The impact of the crisis will keep economic data sombre. Ample liquidity, lower interest rates and elevated equity market volatility will keep gold investment demand strong," said Soni Kumari, commodity strategist at ANZ. Millions more Americans filed claims for unemployment benefits last week, lifting the number of applications to 30.3 million since March 21, amid a record collapse in consumer spending in March. This despite elaborate stimulus measure from the U.S. government and the Federal Reserve. Bullion tends to benefit from widespread stimulus measures as it's often seen as a hedge against inflation and currency debasement. Palladium declined 2.3% to $1,915.50 per ounce, on track for its fifth straight weekly decline. Platinum fell 1.6% to $759.56 per ounce. Silver was down 1.5% to $14.80, en route for its worst week in more than a month. (Reporting by K. Sathya Narayanan in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Tom Hogue)
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.