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PRECIOUS-Gold slides 2% as Trump's restart plan boosts risk sentiment

 (Updates prices)
    * World stocks eye second positive week in a row
    * COVID-19 patients respond to Gilead's remdesivir -report
    * Interactive graphic tracking the global spread: open tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7
 in an external browser

    By Brijesh Patel
    April 17 (Reuters) - Gold dropped about 2% on Friday after
President Donald Trump's new guidelines to re-open the U.S.
economy and encouraging early data related to a potential
COVID-19 treatment drove investors towards riskier assets.
    Spot gold        was down 1.9% at $1,685.84 an ounce by 1:55
p.m. EDT (1755 GMT), more than $60 lower than the 7-1/2 peak hit
earlier this week on concerns over the worst recession in
decades.
    "Gold and stocks are negatively correlated today with the
overnight equity rally pressuring gold. The guidelines from
Trump for re-opening the economy have boosted equity markets,"
said Tai Wong, head of base and precious metals derivatives
trading at BMO.
    "If stocks can extend overnight gains it could trigger more
profit-taking in gold," he added.
    World stock markets sprinted towards a second straight week
of gains after Trump laid out guidelines for gradually reopening
 the coronavirus-hit U.S. economy.            
    Bullion has on occasion moved in tandem with stock markets
this year, with recent sharp sell-offs prompting investors to
sell precious metals to cover their losses elsewhere.
    Late on Thursday, Trump outlined a plan to ease the shutdown
in a staggered, three-stage process, but the plan was a set of
recommendations rather than orders and left the decision largely
up to state governors.             
    Also lifting the mood, a report detailed encouraging data
from trials of U.S. drugmaker Gilead Sciences Inc's experimental
drug remdesivir in severely ill COVID-19 patients.             
    The pandemic has infected more than 2 million people
globally and killed more than 149,000. Many countries have
extended lockdowns to curtail its spread, while central banks
have unleashed a wave of monetary support measures.             
    "Risk appetite is soaring, but it might be overdone as
permanent damage to the economy will see a battered U.S.
consumer," said Edward Moya, a senior market analyst at broker
OANDA, in a note.
    "Gold will remain supported by the boatload of monetary and
fiscal stimulus that will be in place for the foreseeable
future. In the event of a deeper pullback, the $1,650 level
remains key support."
    U.S. gold futures         settled down 1.9% at $1,698.80 an
ounce, narrowing their lead over London spot prices and 
signalling hopes for an improvement in strained supply chain
logistics that have hampered bullion shipments to the United
States to meet contract requirements.        
    Among other precious metals, palladium        gained 1% to
$2,175.54 an ounce, silver        dropped 3.1% to $15.14 and
platinum        fell 1.5% to $771.66.

 (Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; Editing by Steve
Orlofsky and Alistair Bell)
  
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