June 1, 2020 / 1:35 AM / a month ago

PRECIOUS-Gold rises as U.S. riots, HK tensions lift safe-haven appeal

    June 1 (Reuters) - Gold prices climbed on Monday as reports
of riots in the United States rattled investors already reeling
from the deepening Sino-U.S. rift, fanning concerns of a fresh
economic setback and drove traders towards the safe-haven metal.
        
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold        was up 0.6% at $1,736.31 per ounce, as of
1243 GMT. U.S. gold futures        were flat at $1,751.30.
    * Protesters in the United States have flooded the streets
over the death of George Floyd in police custody, in a wave of
outrage sweeping a politically and racially divided nation. 
            
    * The closely packed crowds and demonstrators not wearing
masks sparked fears of a resurgence of COVID-19, which has
killed more than 101,000 Americans.
    * The retreat from riskier assets followed China's state
media and the government of Hong Kong lashing out at U.S.
President Donald Trump's pledge to end Hong Kong's special
status if Beijing imposes new national security laws on the
city.             
    * Factory activity in China grew at a slower pace in May,
but momentum picked up in the services and construction sectors
- pointing to an uneven recovery in Beijing as businesses emerge
from a lockdown.             
    * Denting risk appetite further were Federal Reserve Chair
Jerome Powell's comments on Friday that signalled a potential
surge in U.S. coronavirus infections could derail recovery from
the downturn caused by the pandemic.             
    * Speculators cut their bullish positions in COMEX gold, and
increased them in silver contracts in the week to May 26, the
U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission said on Friday.
       
    * Reflecting investor sentiment, SPDR Gold Trust      , the
world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its
holdings, rose 0.3% to 1,123.14 tonnes on Friday.          
    * Asian shares inched up on cautious trade.            
    * Palladium        inched up 0.1% to $1,947.01 per ounce,
and silver rose 1.1% to $18.04, while platinum        declined
0.7% to $830.81.

    DATA/EVENTS (GMT)
0145  China    Caixin Mfg PMI Final      May
0500  India    IHS Markit Mfg PMI        May
0755  Germany  Markit/BME Mfg PMI        May
0800  EU       Markit Mfg Final PMI      May
1400  US       ISM Manufacturing PMI     May

 (Reporting by Harshith Aranya in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry
Jacob-Phillips)
  
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