Gold dropped about 2.0 per cent on Friday after President Donald Trump’s new guidelines to reopen the US economy and encouraging early data related to a potential COVID-19 treatment drove investors towards riskier assets.

Spot gold was down 1.9 per cent at $US1,685.84 an ounce, more than $US60 lower than the 7-1/2 year peak hit earlier in the week on concerns over the worst recession in decades.

“Gold and stocks are negatively correlated today with the overnight equity rally pressuring gold. The guidelines from Trump for reopening the economy have boosted equity markets,” said Tai Wong, head of base and precious metals derivatives trading at BMO.

“If stocks can extend overnight gains it could trigger more profit-taking in gold.”

World stock markets sprinted towards a second straight week of gains after Trump laid out guidelines for gradually reopening the coronavirus-hit US economy.

Bullion has on occasion moved in tandem with stock markets this year, with recent sharp sell-offs prompting investors to sell precious metals to cover their losses elsewhere.

Late on Thursday, Trump outlined a plan to ease the shutdown in a staggered, three-stage process but the plan was a set of recommendations rather than orders and left the decision largely up to state governors.

Also lifting the mood, a report detailed encouraging data from trials of US drug maker Gilead Sciences’ experimental drug remdesivir in severely ill COVID-19 patients.

The pandemic has infected more than two million people globally and killed more than 149,000.

Many countries have extended lockdowns to curtail its spread, while central banks have unleashed a wave of monetary support measures.

“Risk appetite is soaring but it might be overdone as permanent damage to the economy will see a battered US consumer,” said Edward Moya, a senior market analyst at broker OANDA, in a note.

“Gold will remain supported by the boatload of monetary and fiscal stimulus that will be in place for the foreseeable future. In the event of a deeper pullback, the $US1,650 level remains key support.”

US gold futures settled down 1.9 per cent at $US1,698.80 an ounce, narrowing their lead over London spot prices and signalling hopes for an improvement in strained supply chain logistics that have hampered bullion shipments to the United States to meet contract requirements.

Among other precious metals, palladium gained 1.0 per cent to $US2,175.54 an ounce, silver dropped 3.1 per cent to $US15.14 and platinum fell 1.5 per cent to $US771.66.