April 24, 2020 / 10:25 AM / a month ago

PRECIOUS-Gold heads for weekly gain as growth fears boosts demand

 (Recasts, updates prices)
    * Gold in euros hits all-time high
    * Dollar eyes biggest weekly rise since early April
    * EU agrees on need for special trillion-euro fund
    * Interactive graphic tracking the global spread: open tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7
 in an external browser

    By Brijesh Patel
    April 24 (Reuters) - Gold edged higher on Friday and was on
track for a strong weekly rise, driven by central bank stimulus
measures and investor appetite for a safe haven as fears mount
over the economic damage caused by the novel coronavirus.
    Spot gold        was up 0.1% at $1,732.69 per ounce by 1002
GMT, holding near a more than one-week high hit the precious
session. Over the week, bullion has gained more than 2.7%. 
    U.S. gold futures         gained 0.4% to $1,758.20 an ounce.
    "Gold is holding up well and it's not surprising given the
continuing volatility in other markets and people looking for
safe havens," Commerzbank analyst Eugen Weinberg said.
    "In euro terms, gold has risen to an all-time high, which is
definitely yet another proof of the continuing safe-haven demand
and decreasing trust in central bank money."           
    European shares fell in response to fears of a severe and
lasting economic hit from the pandemic after a report raised
doubts about progress in developing a treatment for COVID-19.
    More than 2.7 million people have been reported to be
infected by the virus globally. Central banks have adopted
massive monetary measures to limit the economic damage as most
countries extend lockdowns to curtail its spread.
    The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a
$484 billion coronavirus relief bill, while European Union
leaders approved an immediate rescue package of about 500
billion euros.                          
    Gold tends to benefit from widespread stimulus measures from
central banks because it is widely viewed as a hedge against
inflation and currency debasement.
    "In this new world in which both the European Central Bank
and the U.S. Federal Reserve continue to unleash new stimulus
packages, dramatically increasing the liquidity of cash,
combined with a lot of uncertainty, gold will remain in high
demand and play a key role in any investor's portfolio,"
ActivTrades chief analyst Carlo Alberto De Casa said in a note.
    "Technically the trend remains bullish and a climb above
$1,730 would open space for the price to test $1,747 again, with
a good chance of a new high being recorded for this haven
    Holdings of the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded
fund, SPDR Gold Trust      , rose to a near seven-year high.
    Elsewhere, palladium        climbed 1.3% to $2,005.82 an
ounce, but was on track to post its fourth straight weekly
    Platinum        gained 0.7% to $760.60 per ounce, while
silver        was steady at $15.30.

 (Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; editing by Elaine
Hardcastle and Barbara Lewis)
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