April 15, 2020
Gold eases as investors lock in profits, recession fears limit losses
(Reuters) - Gold prices fell on Wednesday as investors locked in profits after the metal rallied to a more than seven-year high in the previous session, but fears of a global recession due to the coronavirus pandemic limited losses.
Spot gold was trading down at 0.4% to $1,720.90 per ounce by 0246 GMT, having jumped as much as 1.9% to its highest since Nov. 2012 at $1,746.50 on Tuesday. U.S. gold futures fell 1.1% to $1,749.90.
"Gold is consolidating gains at the top of its range… but there's so much uncertainty in the world and so much of conflicting information that's also supportive for gold," said Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst at OANDA.
There was some profit-taking in gold, Halley said, adding "stocks and gold have been pumped to these levels by the recent $2 trillion of extra stimulus announced by the U.S. Federal Reserve".
Demand for gold tends to benefit from widespread stimulus from central banks, as it is often seen as a hedge against inflation and currency debasement. Lower interest rates also cut the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.
Asian shares paused near one-month highs, as warnings of a deep recession dampened investor optimism that the slowing spread of the coronavirus could allow businesses to re-open.
While the top infectious disease adviser of U.S. President Donald Trump said the May 1 target for restarting the economy is "overly optimistic", the Fed was grappling with the challenge of how to re-open the economy, having launched a funding backstop.
The retreat from riskier assets followed the International Monetary Fund's prediction that the global economy may shrink by 3% in 2020 due to the pandemic, in the worst downturn since the Great Depression.
The contagion, which has infected more than 1.9 million people and killed 120,670, has forced countries to shut activity and prompted central banks to unleash unprecedented support
Gold exchange traded funds continued to see inflows, with holdings of the world's largest gold-backed ETF, SPDR Gold Trust now nearest its highest since May 2013, at 1,017.59 tonnes.
Palladium shed 0.2% to $2,214.62 per ounce and silver dropped 1% to $15.65, while platinum advanced 1% to $782.37.