Gold jumped on Friday, poised for its sixth consecutive weekly gain, as a record-breaking rise in coronavirus infections in the United States fuelled uncertainly about an economic recovery, while a weaker greenback also added support.
Spot gold rose 0.7 per cent to $US1,808.85 per ounce and has gained 0.6 per cent so far this week. US gold futures settled up 0.5 per cent at $US1,810 per ounce.
“Negative real interest rates, ballooning central bank balance sheets, weaker US dollar and still-rising COVID-19 cases are enhancing the safe-haven appeal of the yellow metal,” said ANZ commodity strategist Soni Kumari.
“Now, escalating tension between the US and China is another tailwind for the market.”
The United States was considering banning travel to the country by all members of the Chinese Communist Party, a person familiar with the matter said.
The US shattered its daily record for coronavirus infections, prompting some states to impose partial lockdowns, while the number of global cases crossed 13.89 million.
The US dollar index eased 0.4 per cent against its rivals.
A sharp rise in stimulus packages globally to shield economies from the fallout of the coronavirus has driven safe-haven gold 19.3 per cent higher so far this year.
“Despite stimulus measures moderating of late, central banks are keen to reassure markets that they have not reached the bottom of their pockets should further stimulus be needed,” said Rory Townsend, WoodMac’s head of gold research.
The sheer scale of the stimulus so far will be sufficient to keep gold prices well supported, Townsend added.
US lawmakers return to Washington on Monday to discuss potential new coronavirus aid programs, while investors also eyed a meeting of EU leaders about a proposed stimulus to kick-start their COVID-hit economies.
Elsewhere, palladium jumped 1 per cent to $US2,015.42 per ounce, while platinum rose 0.9 per cent to $US831.51 per ounce.
Silver rose 0.9 per cent to $US19.34 per ounce and was headed for a sixth straight weekly rise.