June 23, 2020 / 10:27 AM / 22 days ago

PRECIOUS-Gold holds near 1-month peak on second wave fears

    * SPDR Gold Trust holdings at over 7-year high
    * European stocks rise on upbeat data
    * Coronavirus infections spike in Latin America

 (Updates prices)
    By Eileen Soreng
    June 23 (Reuters) - Gold prices on Tuesday held firm near a
more than one-month peak scaled in the last session, as a rise
in coronavirus infections fuelled concerns of a second wave of
the pandemic.
    Spot gold        was up 0.1% to $1,756.70 per ounce at 1154
GMT. On Monday, bullion hit $1,762.84, its highest since May 18.
U.S. gold futures        were up 0.3% to $1,771.20 per ounce.
    "Stimulus and fiscal spending are going to continue to go up
because the virus hasn't gone... we're not out of the woods yet
and that's driving continuous demand for safe havens" especially
with the liquidity from central banks starting to stoke
inflation, Saxo Bank analyst Ole Hansen said.
    Technically, he said a break above the $1,745-$1,765 range
"would trigger a chase towards the $1,800 level".
    Global cases of the novel coronavirus surpassed nine million
on Monday.                         
    Gold has gained nearly 16% this year, hitting a 7-1/2 year
peak of $1,764.55 last month, supported by global stimulus
measures since the non-yielding metal is considered a hedge
against inflation and currency debasement.
    Holdings in SPDR Gold Trust      , the world's largest
gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose 0.58% to 1,166.04 tonnes
on Monday, a level last seen in April 2013.             
    While the increase in infection is positive for gold, demand
from the world's second biggest bullion consumer India is likely
to remain paralysed since the country is also seeing a spike in
cases, Commerzbank said.         
    Also helping gold, the dollar        edged 0.2% lower
against a basket of currencies.       
    Gold's gains came despite a rise in equities driven by data
showing the downturn in the euro zone economy eased this month, 
and after U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted the U.S.-China
trade pact was "fully intact".                                
    Elsewhere, palladium        slipped 0.6% to $1,926.25 per
ounce, platinum        rose 0.4% to $824.97 per ounce and silver
       was steady at $17.82 per ounce.

 (Reporting by Eileen Soreng and Nakul Iyer in Bengaluru;
Editing by Barbara Lewis and Mark Potter)
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