April 21, 2020 / 4:26 AM / 3 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold pares losses as oil rout hammers risk appetite

(Adds comments, details, updates prices)

* Gold to consolidate below recent highs in 2020, 2021 -poll

* Even a coronavirus crisis can’t puncture palladium prices - poll

* Interactive graphic tracking the global spread: open tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7 in an external browser

By K. Sathya Narayanan

April 21 (Reuters) - Gold recovered from early losses on Tuesday as a rout in oil prices boosted demand for safe haven assets and countering the impact of a rise in the dollar.

Spot gold was steady at $1,692.77 per ounce by 0818 GMT, having slipped 0.5%. U.S. gold futures were steady at $1,711.80.

“Panic selling in one asset class - oil - is pushing safe haven buying in gold. Even equities are down globally, which is (also) positive,” said Jigar Trivedi, commodities analyst at Anand Rathi Shares and Stock Brokers in Mumbai.

Bullion on Monday jumped as much as 1% as U.S. crude futures fell below zero for the first time.

Oil’s record plunge triggered the steepest drop in Asian stocks in a month.

The likelihood for more monetary stimulus from the United States also supported gold, Trivedi said.

The U.S. Congress on Monday inched toward a $450 billion deal to help small businesses and hospitals hurt by the coronavirus pandemic.

Capping gold’s gains was a strong dollar, which is also considered a safe haven.

Continued risks from the oil market could “provide some level of support for gold as a surge for safety will be put into hyperdrive,” IG Markets analyst Kyle Rodda said.

However, gold is used as a hedge against oil-led inflation and a fall in crude prices increases deflationary pressures.

In the longer term, “a falling oil price is disinflationary and thus weighs on gold as one of many factors. (But) gold went up last night as the meltdown in oil inspired safe-haven buying,” said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA.

Gold prices in 2020 and 2021 are expected to consolidate below recent highs as increased demand is offset by dollar strength and weak retail consumption, a Reuters poll showed.

On the technical front, spot gold may retest support at $1,677 per ounce, with a good chance of breaking below and falling towards $1,634, Reuters analyst Wang Tao said.

Palladium fell 1.3% to $2,136.89 an ounce, platinum slipped 1%, to $762.79 and silver declined 1.1% to $15.20.

Analysts and traders, meanwhile, raised their forecasts for palladium prices, predicting it will remain undersupplied even as the virus outbreak hammers demand from automakers, a Reuters poll showed.

Reporting by K. Sathya Narayanan in Bengaluru; Editing by Uttaresh.V and Jason Neely

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