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    Gold holds steady as virus fears offset gains in equities

    Synopsis

    U.S. gold futures edged down 0.2% to $1,786.10 per ounce.

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    Gold will likely trade in a tight range, but remains well supported above $1,750 an ounce, Xiao Fu said.

    Commodity Summary

    MCX
    Gold prices were little changed on Friday as worries over an accelerating number of coronavirus cases countered a fillip to risk sentiment from positive U.S. and Chinese economic data.

    Spot gold was mostly unchanged at $1,774.33 per ounce by 10:33 a.m EDT (1433 GMT). Most U.S. markets are closed on Friday ahead of Independence Day on July 4.

    U.S. gold futures edged down 0.2% to $1,786.10 per ounce.

    "Central bank easing policies and uncertainty surrounding the second wave (of COVID-19) are sustaining gold prices," Bank of China International analyst Xiao Fu said, adding that despite a positive U.S. jobs report, more data was needed to suggest the economy was on a strong footing.

    Gold will likely trade in a tight range, but remains well supported above $1,750 an ounce, Xiao Fu said.

    Cases of coronavirus continued to increase globally, with more than 10.94 million people infected, while the United States reported a new daily global record number of cases.

    "Geopolitical considerations are also to the fore," said Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst at OANDA. "With a holiday in the United States, and the weekend upon us, some haven-directed buying of gold is definitely evident."

    Escalating political tensions, more than 75 members of the U.S. Congress sent a letter to President Donald Trump urging him to make a formal determination on whether China's treatment of Muslim Uighurs and other groups constituted an atrocity.

    Indicative of sentiment, holdings of the SPDR Gold Trust

    , rose 0.8% to 1,191.47 tonnes on Thursday.

    But stemming gains in bullion, data showing a recovery in China's services sector and a record addition of jobs to the U.S. economy in June helped world shares hover near a four-month high.

    Palladium dropped 0.6% to $1,890.19 per ounce, while platinum rose 0.2% to $804.19 per ounce, set for its first weekly gain in six.

    Silver gained 0.6% to $18.01 per ounce, heading for its fourth consecutive weekly gain.
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