Gold Markets: Coronavirus, U.S.-China tensions

A mark of 999.9 fine sits on hallmarked one kilogram gold bullion bars at the Valcambi SA precious metal refinery in Lugano, Switzerland, on April 24, 2018. Stefan Wermuth | Bloomberg | Getty Images Gold prices edged higher on Wednesday, supported by renewed U.S.-China tensions and concerns over economic recovery, […]

A mark of 999.9 fine sits on hallmarked one kilogram gold bullion bars at the Valcambi SA precious metal refinery in Lugano, Switzerland, on April 24, 2018.

Stefan Wermuth | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Gold prices edged higher on Wednesday, supported by renewed U.S.-China tensions and concerns over economic recovery, but a robust dollar capped gains.

Fundamentals

Spot gold rose 0.2% to $1,902.04 per ounce by 0100 GMT.

U.S. gold futures eased 0.1% to $1,905.60.

The dollar index hit an eight-week peak. A firmer dollar makes bullion more expensive for holders of other currencies.

U.S. President Donald Trump told the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday that China must be held accountable for having “unleashed” Covid-19 on the world, prompting Beijing to accuse him of “lies” and abusing the U.N. platform to provoke confrontation.

Top U.S. economic policymakers opened the door on Tuesday to further aid for small businesses hit by the coronavirus-triggered recession, but differed over how broad it might extend and the manner in which it should be delivered.

Meanwhile, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans said the central bank still needed to discuss its new average inflation target but that it “could start raising rates before we start averaging 2%.”

Low interest rates tend to support gold, which is considered a hedge against inflation and currency depreciation.

The UK has imposed fresh set of curbs to tackle a second wave of Covid-19, with new restrictions lasting probably six months.

Holdings in SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 0.05% to 1,278.23 tonnes on Tuesday.

Silver fell 0.6% to $24.26 per ounce, platinum rose 0.3% to $869.64 and palladium slipped 0.8% to $2,203.15.

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