Gold Edges up as Concern Over Rising Virus Cases Lifts Demand

A surge in the COVID-19 infections has renewed fears of a delay in the economic recovery as nations reopen after coronavirus-induced lockdowns

Gold prices gained on Friday as concerns that cases of coronavirus infections were rising propped up demand for the safe-haven metal. Spot gold rose 0.5 percent to $1,731.00 per ounce by 1003 GMT. U.S. gold futures also 0.5 percent higher at $1,739.50. "These cases of second waves in certain locations is basically what is fuelling the pessimistic view that this recession is going to turn into long-lasting depression," Julius Baer analyst Carsten Menke said.

"From my point of view, it's (gold) going to remain around the $1,700 level for the next few months unless we have clarity of where the economy is going." More than 8.38 million people have been infected by the coronavirus globally, with some 400 workers being tested positive at an abattoir in northern Germany, and China reported 32 new virus cases on Friday.

Gold Prices Gain

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A surge in infections has renewed fears of a delay in the economic recovery as countries reopen after coronavirus-induced lockdowns. "Gold continues to see patient buyers on dips to $1,710 to $1,715 an ounce, with equally patient sellers lying in wait on any spikes towards $1,740," said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA.

Gold prices have risen nearly 14 percent so far this year, supported safe-haven demand amid a virus-led economic slowdown and unprecedented global central banks' cash splurge. On investors' radar was the European Council's meeting to negotiate the EU recovery fund to revive the bloc's coronavirus-ravaged economies. Elsewhere, palladium dropped 0.9 percent to $1,907.82 per ounce and was on track for a second consecutive weekly decline. Platinum rose 0.6 percent to $808.64 per ounce and silver was up 0.2 percent at $17.54.