Edition:
United States

Harshith Aranya

Wildfire smoke slashes solar energy production in California

Sep 30 2020

LOS ANGELES Smoke from wildfires in California slashed the state's solar energy by nearly a third earlier this month because miniscule airborne particles reduced the amount of sunlight reaching panels, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

PRECIOUS-Gold jumps 1% to surpass $2,000/oz as dollar dips

Aug 18 2020

* Gold hits one-week high at $2,007.19/oz * Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus: open https://tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7 in an external browser (Recasts, adds comment, updates prices) By Harshith Aranya Aug 18 Gold prices climbed 1% to surpass the $2,000-mark on Tuesday, as the dollar weakened to a more than two-year low, with traders also focusing on minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve's last policy meeting set to release this week. Spot gold rose 0.7% to $1,999.26 per ounce by 0717 GMT, having earlier hit a one-week high of $2,007.19. U.S. gold futures were up 0.5% at $2,007.60. "The fragile currency environment and the weak economic numbers in the United States are stealing the dollar's safe-haven appeal," said Vandana Bharti, assistant vice-president of commodity research at SMC Comtrade. Safe-haven buying in gold should continue given the amount of stimulus measures and an increase in novel coronavirus cases, she added. A softer dollar, which makes gold cheaper for those holding other currencies, underpinned prices on Tuesday. This added to the bullion's 32% jump this year following massive global stimulus measures that fuelled inflation and currency debasement fears. On Monday, gold jumped as much as 2.4%, with further impetus from Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway buying a stake in major gold miner Barrick Gold Corp . Meanwhile, eyes are also on the minutes from the Fed's last meeting due on Wednesday. "Traders are getting the last kick at the can ahead of the FOMC minutes where the view is for the Fed to have talked about YCC (yields curve control) or inflation-targeting which is bad for the dollar and good for gold," said Stephen Innes, chief market strategist at financial services firm AxiCorp. . Lower yields and interest rates decrease the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as gold. Adding to the pandemic-induced hit to the global economy was increasing Sino-U.S. friction with the Trump administration announcing it will further tighten restrictions on Huawei Technologies Co . Silver climbed 2.1% to $27.97 per ounce, and platinum gained 1.5% to $963.29. Palladium fell 0.4% to $2,190.20. (Reporting by Harshith Aranya and Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)

PRECIOUS-Gold firms on weaker dollar as focus turns to Fed

Aug 17 2020

* Specs cut bullish gold positions in week to Aug. 11 - CFTC * Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus: open https://tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7 in an external browser (Adds comment, updates prices) By Harshith Aranya Aug 17 Gold rose on Monday as the dollar eased, recouping initial declines following a steep drop in the previous week, with focus on the release of U.S. Federal Reserve minutes later this week. Spot gold rose 0.3% to $1,949.09 per ounce by 0636 GMT. Gold fell 4.5% last week in its biggest decline since March as investors reassessed positions after bullion retreated from a record peak of $2,072.50 scaled on Aug. 7. U.S. gold futures gained 0.5% at $1,958.90 per ounce. Gold does not "seem ready to resume the selloff in earnest as traders wait for FOMC meeting minutes and the fate of U.S. fiscal stimulus negotiations," said DailyFx currency strategist Ilya Spivak. "Prices may need to reclaim a foothold above the $2,000/oz figure to suggest near-term selling pressure has been neutralized." Making gold more attractive for holders of other currencies, the dollar slipped as investors were relieved by a delay in the review of a U.S.-China trade pact. While a rise in real U.S. bond yields and profit taking "stifled gold's upward trajectory" somewhat, fundamentals look sound, said National Australia Bank economist John Sharma. The minutes from the Fed's last policy meeting are due on Wednesday, with focus on any hints of a possible change to its guidance at its next review in September. "The document might suggest the Fed is not in a hurry to expand the monetary support toolkit for now," DailyFx's Spivak added. "The sense of urgency could be reduced further if Democrats and Republicans manage to agree on another round of fiscal support." Gold has risen 28.4% so far this year as unprecedented global stimulus to ease the economic blow from the COVID-19 pandemic pushed investors to bullion as a hedge against inflation and currency debasement. Silver rose 1.5% to $26.81 per ounce, platinum rose 2.1% to $955.54 per ounce and palladium gained 2.6% to $2,164.07 per ounce. (Reporting by Harshith Aranya in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Amy Caren Daniel)

RPT-Asia Rice-Virus slows Indian exports; heavy flooding hits Bangladesh

Jul 30 2020

* Nearly 50,000 hectares of paddy fields in Bangladesh submerged

Asia Rice-Virus slows Indian exports; heavy flooding hits Bangladesh

Jul 30 2020

* Nearly 50,000 hectares of paddy fields in Bangladesh submerged

PRECIOUS-Gold poised for 5th straight weekly rise as risk appetite wanes

Jul 10 2020

* Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus: open https://tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7 in an external browser

PRECIOUS-Gold holds above $1,800 level as virus casts long shadow

Jul 09 2020

* Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus: open https://tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7 in an external browser

PRECIOUS-Gold gains as gloomy UK economic data spurs safe-haven demand

Jun 12 2020

* Gold up more than 2.5% so far this week * Platinum set for largest weekly fall since April * SPDR Gold holdings rise 0.5% on Thursday * For an interactive graphic tracking the global coronavirus spread, open https://tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7 in an external browser (Recasts with updated prices) By Harshith Aranya June 12 Gold reversed course to rise on Friday as dismal economic data from Britain added to concerns of a second wave of virus infections, boosting safe-haven demand and setting gold on track for its first weekly rise in four. Spot gold rose 0.3% to $1,732.08 per ounce, as of 0807 GMT, having earlier fallen as low as 0.3% on a firmer dollar. Bullion has risen over 2.5% so far this week. U.S. gold futures fell 0.1% to $1,738.60. Gold recovered from earlier lows after the UK reported poor economic data, said Jigar Trivedi, commodities analyst at Anand Rathi Shares and Stock Brokers in Mumbai. Britain's economy shrank by a record 20.4% in April due to the coronavirus lockdown, the data showed. "An increase in COVID-19 cases has led to rising risk aversion, leading to a stronger U.S. dollar," said National Australia Bank economist John Sharma. The stronger greenback has kept gold prices in check, because it makes assets priced in the dollar more expensive for holders of other currencies. U.S. stocks fell more than 5% on Thursday, their worst day since mid-March. Asian equities slumped on Friday on fears of resurgence in coronavirus cases. Risk appetites have also been dented by a recent spike in coronavirus infections in some U.S. states. This partially reflects increased testing, but some states are also seeing rising hospitalizations. Earlier this week, U.S. Federal Reserve officials said the bank's key interest rate would need to hold near zero through at least 2022. Gold tends to benefit from lower interest rates as it reduces the opportunity cost of holding bullion. Holdings in the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, SPDR Gold Trust , rose 0.5% to 1,135.05 tonnes on Thursday. Palladium rose 0.8% to $1,936.36 per ounce, while silver declined 0.5% to $17.61. Platinum climbed 0.9% to $817.96, but was set for its largest weekly fall since April. (Reporting by Harshith Aranya and Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Tom Hogue)

PRECIOUS-Gold slips on profit-taking after Fed-driven rally

Jun 11 2020

* Fed vows to keep monetary policy easy * Silver falls after 3.8% jump on Wednesday * Markets await weekly jobless claims due later in the day (Updates prices; adds comments, detail about U.S. jobless claims) By Harshith Aranya June 11 Gold eased on Thursday as investors booked profits after prices rose to a more than one-week high on bleak economic projections from the U.S. Federal Reserve. Spot gold was down 0.5% at $1,728.40 per ounce by 0634 GMT, after hitting its highest since June 2 at $1,739.68 earlier in the session. U.S. gold futures climbed 1% to $1,737.80. "Gold has struggled around these levels repeatedly over the last couple of months, which is probably why we're seeing profit taking kicking in once again," OANDA analyst Craig Erlam said. "We're also seeing a bit of a rebound in the dollar, which is likely weighing on gold prices today." On Wednesday, spot gold prices rose 1.3%, their biggest daily percentage rise in more than a month, after the Fed said it would be a long road to recovery from the coronavirus-induced slump. The U.S. central bank repeated its promise of continued extraordinary support, and also flagged the need to keep the key interest rate near zero through at least 2022. Large stimulus measures and low interest rates tend to support gold, which is often considered a hedge against inflation and currency debasement. "Macro uncertainty, lower interest rates and accommodative central banks should remain long-term supports (for gold)," ANZ analysts wrote in a note. As the pandemic shows no signs of slowing down, so will uncertainty and that along with rising trade tensions should keep strong safe-haven demand for gold, ANZ added. Investors await the U.S. weekly jobless claims data due later in the day. While layoffs are slowing, millions still remain unemployed, suggesting the labour market could take years to heal from the pandemic. Among other metals, silver declined 2.5% to $17.79 per ounce, after rising 3.8% on Wednesday. Palladium fell 0.5% to $1,937.88 per ounce, and platinum slipped 0.7% to $826.66. (Reporting by Harshith Aranya and Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu & Aditya Soni)

PRECIOUS-Gold recovers some post-payrolls losses but faces headwinds

Jun 08 2020

* Speculators cut bullish positions in COMEX gold (Recasts and updates prices)

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