June 18, 2020 / 1:19 AM / a month ago

PRECIOUS-Gold steady as virus cases rise, stronger dollar limits upside

    June 18 (Reuters) - Gold was steady on Thursday as investors
remained concerned about a possible slow down in global economic
recovery due to a  rise in new coronavirus cases in the United
States and China, but a strengthening U.S. dollar limited the
metal's appeal.
                
    FUNDAMENTALS    
    * Spot gold        was flat at $1,726.69 per ounce, as of
0053 GMT.
    * U.S. gold futures        were steady at $1,736 per ounce. 
    * Beijing cancelled scores of flights, shut schools and
blocked off some neighbourhoods as it ramped up efforts to
contain a coronavirus outbreak. The city confirmed 21 new
COVID-19 cases as of June 17.             
    * Just days before U.S. President Donald Trump's campaign
rally in Tulsa, new coronavirus cases are surging in Oklahoma,
Texas, Arizona and elsewhere. [nL1N2DU1GV
    * Spiking coronavirus cases and prospects of new lockdowns
erased dented investors sentiment towards riskier assets.
           
    * However, a rise in the U.S. dollar limited gold's advance
as the dollar index        held firm against its rivals.       
    * Meanwhile, Bank of England is expected to announce an
increase of at least 100 billion pounds ($125 billion) in its
bond-buying programme at its meeting due 1100 GMT.
    * The U.S. economy is beginning to recover from the worst of
the coronavirus crisis, but with some 25 million Americans
displaced from work and the pandemic ongoing, it will need more
help, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell told lawmakers on
Wednesday.             
    * Gold tends to benefit from widespread stimulus measures
from central banks because it is widely viewed as a hedge
against inflation and currency debasement.
    * Palladium        gained 1.3% to $1,946.73 per ounce, while
silver        dropped 0.8% to $17.45, and platinum        lost
0.7% to $813.26.
    
    DATA/EVENTS (GMT)
    
1100   UK    BOE Bank Rate             June
1230   US    Initial Jobless Claims    Weekly
1230   US    Philly Fed Business Indx  June

 (Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi
Aich)
  
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