LONDON: Gold erased earlier losses on Friday as the relentless coronavirus spread globally with a record jump in Covid-19 infections in the United States marring risk appetite and setting the metal on track for its third straight weekly rise. Spot gold rose 0.3 per cent to $1,767.28 per ounce by 1:50pm EDT (1750 GMT). US gold futures settled 0.5pc up at $1,780.30.

“Investors are getting nervous due to the current rise in coronavirus cases and quitting their positions in riskier assets like stocks, while parking their investments in gold and bonds,” said Bob Haberkorn, senior market strategist at RJO Futures.

Wall Street’s major indexes dropped and benchmark 10-year yield slipped to its lowest since early June as the United States set a new record for a one-day increase in coronavirus cases. Gold has gained 1.4pc so far this week, but retreated slightly from its highest level since October 2012 hit on Wednesday as the rival safe-haven US dollar took some shine off the precious metal amid rising coronavirus cases.

More than 9.62 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally.

“We might see gold breaking the $1,800 level ... fundamentals for gold are quite strong with rising coronavirus cases, no vaccines yet and stimulus from major central banks globally leading to concerns of inflation,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at broker OANDA.

Easy monetary policies and a string of stimulus measures by major central banks to stem the virus impact have sparked concerns of inflation, driving bullion prices about 16.5pc higher this year. In other metals, palladium rose 1.5pc to $1,869.24 per ounce, but was on track for its biggest weekly decline since the week ending May 1. Platinum fell 1.4pc to $792.60 an ounce and silver dropped 0.3pc to $17.82.

Published in Dawn, June 27th, 2020