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Gold eyes best month in four years on virus anxiety, soft dollar

Friday,   31-Jul-2020   08:53 AM (IST)

Gold prices on Friday were on track for their best month in more than four years, as a weaker dollar and worries over the global economic fallout from the mounting COVID-19 cases drove investors towards the safe-haven metal. Spot gold was steady at $1,958.99 per ounce by 0029 GMT. Bullion rose 10% so far this month, its biggest percentage rise since February 2016. The metal was also on track for its eighth straight weekly gain. U.S. gold futures rose 0.5% to $1,953. The dollar index fell 0.3% to a more than two-year low against its rivals after U.S. President Donald Trump suggested an election delay. A weaker dollar makes gold cheaper for holders of others currencies. More than 17.15 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 668,419​ have died, according to a Reuters tally. A spike in COVID-19 cases in the United States has dented hopes for a quick economic recovery, driving inflows into safe-haven assets such as gold, which has risen more than 28% so far this year. Gold is often used as a safe store of value during times of political and financial uncertainty. Underscoring impact from the virus, U.S. GDP collapsed at a 32.9% annualized rate during the second quarter, the deepest decline in output since the government started keeping records in 1947, the Commerce Department said. Meanwhile, Japan's industrial output rose 2.7% in June from the previous month to mark the first advance in five months, government data showed on Friday. Silver slipped 0.7% to $23.39 per ounce, platinum  eased 0.2% to $901.27 and palladium dropped 0.8% to $2,065.33.