Gold flat as dollar strength checks concerns over virus case spike

Gold bars and coins are stacked in the safe deposit boxes room of the Pro Aurum gold house in Munich, Germany

Gold prices were steady on Thursday, with the metal caught between a strengthening U.S. dollar and a pullback in global equities, as worries that new coronavirus cases could jeopardise an economic recovery weighed on markets.

Spot gold was flat at $1,726.48 per ounce by 0701 GMT.

U.S. gold futures eased 0.1% to $1,733.90 per ounce.

“We’re not really seeing a clear-cut catalyst for gold here. On the one hand, we’re getting a stronger U.S. dollar because the recent comments from the Federal Reserve are supportive,” said DailyFx currency strategist Ilya Spivak.

“On the other hand, the absence of more stimulus has weighed on the sentiment and bond yields have fallen. These conflicting influences are keeping gold pretty well anchored.”

Safe-haven gains for the U.S. dollar weighed on gold’s appeal, with dollar index holding firm against a basket of major currencies.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell said on Wednesday 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.

The imposition of travel curbs in Beijing to stop a separate outbreak and surging new COVID-19 cases in several U.S. states erased earlier confidence about a global economic recovery, sending global financial markets and U.S. Treasury yields lower.

Bank of England is expected to announce an increase of at least 100 billion pounds ($125 billion) in its bond-buying programme at its policy meeting due 1100 GMT.

Elsewhere, palladium gained 0.6% to $1,932.52 per ounce, while platinum dropped 0.7% to $813.48 and silver slipped 0.4% to $17.51.

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