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Gold steadies on virus fears, stimulus bets; Fed meet eyed

Wednesday,   29-Jul-2020   08:55 AM (IST)

Gold prices steadied on Wednesday as worries over rising cases of COVID-19 and expectations of possible inflation from more stimulus measures underpinned the metal, while investors awaited the U.S. Federal Reserve’s meeting outcome later in the day. Spot gold was little changed at $1,957.84 per ounce by 0049 GMT. Prices hit an all-time of $1,980.57 on Tuesday before retreating after investors booked profits and the dollar regained some ground. U.S. gold futures rose 0.5% to $1,954.50. A Reuters tally showed more than 16.62 million people were infected with COVID-19, including 655,583 deaths. Cases continued to surge in the United States, with four states in the South and West reporting one-day records for virus-related deaths on Tuesday. Underscoring the economic impact from the virus, data on Tuesday showed that U.S. consumer confidence fell more than expected in July. Market participants are now looking at the U.S. Fed’s two-day policy meeting, which ends on Wednesday. Gold tends to gain when interest rates are low, which reduces the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion. Gold is also seen as a hedge against inflation. SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings rose 0.7% to 1,243.12 tonnes on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Republicans in the White House and the U.S. Congress were in disarray over their own plan for providing $1 trillion in new coronavirus aid, as negotiations aimed at reaching a compromise bill with Democrats also sputtered. Asian equities pulled backed on Wednesday as an impasse in U.S. economic stimulus negotiations pushed global stocks lower. Silver dropped 1.1% to $24.31 per ounce, platinum fell 0.1% to $947.29 and palladium slipped 1.1% to $2,259.52.