Dollar, U.S. Treasury yields, coronavirus in focus

An employee arranges one kilogram gold bars at the Perth Mint Refinery in Perth, Australia, on Aug. 9, 2018. Carla Gottgens | Bloomberg | Getty Images Gold scaled a new all-time peak on Friday and was set for its ninth straight weekly gain, as demand was boosted by a softer […]

An employee arranges one kilogram gold bars at the Perth Mint Refinery in Perth, Australia, on Aug. 9, 2018.

Carla Gottgens | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Gold scaled a new all-time peak on Friday and was set for its ninth straight weekly gain, as demand was boosted by a softer dollar, falling U.S. Treasury yields and worries over the global economic fallout from rising COVID-19 cases.

Spot gold was up 0.3% at $2,068.32 per ounce by 0035 GMT, having hit a record high of $2,072.50 in early Asian trade. Bullion is up more than 4.7% so far this week.

U.S. gold futures rose 0.5% to $2,078.70.

The dollar index held close to a more than two-year low and was heading for its seventh consecutive weekly decline. A weaker greenback makes gold less expensive for holders of other currencies.

Benchmark 10-year Treasury yields fell to their lowest levels in five months, reducing the opportunity cost of holding non-interest bearing gold.

Coronavirus cases continue to surge in the United States and stood at more than 18.94 million globally.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the U.S. economy needs an “additional boost” to cope with the fallout from the pandemic, as Republicans and Democrats remained far apart about what to include in another wave of coronavirus stimulus.

The number of Americans seeking jobless benefits fell last week, but a staggering 31.3 million people were receiving unemployment checks in mid-July, suggesting the labor market was stalling.

Investors’ focus will be on the U.S. nonfarm payroll data due later in the day.

Asia shares were poised to open higher on Friday, tracking global equity markets’ overnight gains.

Silver jumped 2.6% to $29.68 per ounce, while platinum dropped 0.9% to $988.76 and palladium climbed 0.5% to $2,232.40.

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