April 23, 2020 / 1:30 AM / a month ago

PRECIOUS-Gold prices ease on buoyant equities, strong dollar

    April 23 (Reuters) - Gold prices edged lower on Thursday,
after a sharp rise in the previous session, as equities regained
some footing and the dollar firmed, although hopes for more
global economic stimulus measures underpinned bullion. 
       
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold        eased 0.2% to $1,710.23 per ounce by 0034
GMT, having risen as much as 1.9% in the previous session. U.S.
gold futures        slipped 0.2% to $1,735.30.
    *  Asian equity markets were poised to edge higher on
Thursday after rebounding crude prices and the promise of more
U.S. government aid to prop up the coronavirus-hit economy
helped calm global equity markets.            
    * Against key rivals, the U.S. dollar        rose to a
more-than two-week high, making gold costlier for investors
using other currencies.       
    * The U.S. House of Representatives expects to pass a nearly
$500 billion coronavirus relief bill on Thursday but will put
off any decision on changing its voting rules during the
pandemic, avoiding a potential partisan fight.             
    * It may take European Union countries until the summer or
even longer to agree on how exactly to finance aid to help
economies recover from the coronavirus pandemic as major
disagreements persist, a bloc official said on Wednesday.
            
    * Gold tends to benefit from widespread stimulus measures as
it is often seen as a hedge against inflation and currency
debasement.
    * The European Central Bank said on Wednesday it would let
banks post collateral that was downgraded to junk during the
coronavirus outbreak to prevent a credit squeeze in the euro
zone.             
    * Britain's government plans to test a sample of 20,000
English households for COVID-19 in the coming weeks to try to
establish how far the disease has spread across the country.
            
    * SPDR Gold Trust      , the world's largest gold-backed
exchange-traded fund, holdings rose 0.9% to 1,042.46 tonnes on
Wednesday.          
    * Palladium        gained 0.3% to $1,944.56 per ounce, while
platinum        declined 0.9% to $750.69 and silver        fell
0.9% to $15.02. 
    
DATA/EVENTS (GMT)
0730  Germany  Markit Mfg, Comp, Serv Flash PMI   (April)
0800  EU       Markit Mfg, Comp, Serv Flash PMI   (April)
0830  UK       Flash Mfg, Comp, Serv PMI          (April)
1230  U.S.     Initial Jobless Claims             (weekly)
1345  U.S.     Markit Mfg, Comp, Serv Flash PMI   (April)
1400  U.S.     New Home Sales-Units               (March)

 (Reporting by K. Sathya Narayanan in Bengaluru; editing by
Uttaresh.V)
  
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