March 20, 2020 / 3:27 PM / 20 days ago

PRECIOUS-Gold rises as stimulus measures halt virus-led cash run

 (Updates prices)
    * Gold, silver on track for second week of declines
    * Platinum set to post worst week ever
    * Dollar eases from three-year high

    By Brijesh Patel
    March 20 (Reuters) - Gold rebounded on Friday, rising as
much as 3.1%, as a wave of fiscal and monetary stimulus by
global central banks to counter the economic impact from
coronavirus spread halted investors lure for cash.
    Spot gold        was up 0.7% at $1,480.53 per ounce at 01:34
a.m. EDT (1734 GMT). However, bullion has lost more than 3% so
far this week.
    U.S. gold futures         settled 0.4% higher to $1,484.6.
    "Finally gold starting to stabilize here. As we are seeing
monetary stimulus hit the market and it is providing little bit
of bounce not just in gold also in equities," said Edward Moya,
a senior market analyst at broker OANDA.
    "As we get beyond this initial risk-on day, we probably will
start to see gold have a better outlook as the scramble for cash
has exhausted and lot more investors remaining confident that it
will maintain its safe-haven status."
    Gold has lost more than $200 since surging past $1,700 per
ounce last week, mainly due to hunt for cash and to meet margin
calls.
    Stock markets around the world rose after posting huge
losses over the course of the week as measures from central
banks boosted investor sentiment.            
    Market participants are counting on further policy easing in
the next few days as the U.S. Senate mulls a $1 trillion package
that would include direct financial help for Americans.
    Several other countries also rolled out measures to stem the
economic damage, while the Bank of England cut its key interest
rate.                          
    Further helping gold, the dollar index        fell 0.4%
after hitting a more than three-year high.       
    "The surprising direct correlation between stock markets and
the bullion price is continuing and is being helped by the
greenback slowing down after yesterday's record," ActivTrades
chief analyst Carlo Alberto De Casa said in a note.
    "The (gold) price now faces the first key static resistance,
which is placed at $1,520. A climb above this level would create
space for further rallies."
    Elsewhere, palladium        was little changed at $1,652.84
per ounce.
    "While the Covid-19 outbreak has so far been relatively
muted in South Africa, developments there are worth following,"
Bank of America analysts wrote in a note.
    "Shuttering operations there would potentially impact 75%
and 40% of global platinum and palladium output respectively.
All of these disruptions could reduce the supply overhang
somewhat."
    Platinum        rose 4% to $610.03, but was on track for its
biggest ever weekly fall.
    Silver        gained 2.2% to $12.37, but was heading for
second straight week of losses.

 (Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; editing by Diane
Craft)
  
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