Gold holds steady as market eyes Donald Trump’s health

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Gold prices were little changed on Monday, as investors sought more clarity on developments in U.S. President Donald Trump`s health after he tested positive for COVID-19 last week.

Spot gold was nearly flat at $1,896.21 per ounce by 0328 GMT.

U.S. gold futures were down 0.3% at $1,902.

“There`ll be reluctance to sell gold at this stage because of the increasing amount of uncertainty as we head towards the U.S. presidential election,” said Howie Lee, an economist at OCBC Bank.

Doctors treating Trump for COVID-19 sent conflicting signals about the severity of his condition on Sunday, hours before he surprised supporters gathered outside the hospital with an impromptu motorcade.

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Trump was flown to the hospital for coronavirus treatment last week, adding to political uncertainty ahead of the Nov. 3 election.

The dollar was down 0.1% against rivals, while stock markets rose on hopes that Trump could be discharged from hospital later in the day.

Also on investors radar were negotiations over a new U.S. coronavirus relief aid aimed to cushion the economic blow from the pandemic.

“There is need for new stimulus measures to rally (gold) prices. Without this mojo, there are signs of fatigue creeping into precious metals, (with) sentiment shifting in the favour of bears,” Avtar Sandu, a senior commodities manager at Phillip Futures, said in a note.

Gold, seen as a hedge against inflation and currency debasement, has risen about 25% this year supported by unprecedented stimulus measures by governments and central banks worldwide to revive their coronavirus-battered economies.

However, it has retreated by 8.4% since hitting a record peak of $2,072.50 in August.

Spot gold is biased to break a support at $1,896 per ounce, and fall to $1,877, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.

Silver rose 0.8% to $23.88 per ounce, platinum dipped 0.2% to $880.33 and palladium fell 0.2% to $2,303.84. 

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