February 06, 2020
Gold eases on solid U.S. data; virus keeps investors wary
(Reuters) - Gold prices fell on Thursday as strong U.S. economic data boosted risk appetite and the dollar, while investors kept a cautious eye on the virus outbreak as the death toll jumped past 500.
Spot gold was down 0.2% to $1,553.12 per ounce by 0425 GMT. Prices have been falling this week on China’s stimulus measures, having hit a more than two-week low of $1,546.90 on Wednesday. U.S. gold futures fell 0.4% to $1,556.80.
“There’s a big lift in risk appetite, a lot of markets are seeing optimism around the measures put in place by China’s authorities to deal with the outbreak to support their economy,” said Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets.
Positive data from the United States such as a rise in January private payrolls and services sector activity were also weighing on gold, he added.
Asian stocks gained after U.S. stocks hit a record peak on encouraging U.S. data, while the dollar held close to a two-month high hit in the previous session, making gold expensive for holders of other currencies.
The death toll from the virus in mainland China jumped to 563, as experts stepped up efforts to combat a disease that has shut down Chinese cities and forced thousands more into quarantine around the world.
The World Health Organization on Wednesday played down reports of “breakthrough” drugs being discovered to treat people infected with the new coronavirus.
“The virus spreading into new areas and new countries at alarming rates could bring real support to gold prices,” McCarthy said.
Concerns are also rising whether China could meet its pledge of buying $200 billion worth of U.S. goods over two years under a Phase 1 trade deal due to the epidemic.
Spot gold may rise into a range of $1,564 to $1,570 per ounce, as it has stabilised around a support at $1,549, said Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.
Palladium advanced 0.5% to $2,443.70 an ounce and silver rose 0.3% to $17.65. Platinum was flat at $982.12 after touching a one-week high of $987.60 earlier in the session.