Gold Heads for Biggest Quarterly Gain Since 2016 on Virus Woes

Gold headed for the biggest quarterly advance since 2016 amid a surge in demand for haven assets due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, which shows no signs of abating.

Bullion rose as the World Health Organization warned that the worst of the pandemic is still to come because of a lack of global solidarity. Deaths have surpassed 500,000 worldwide and confirmed cases exceeded 10 million, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

Investors will also be closely watching comments from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell due later Tuesday. In remarks prepared for testimony before the House Financial Services Committee, Powell stressed the importance of keeping the coronavirus contagion contained as the U.S. economy bounces back from its deepest contraction in decades.

The precious metal has rallied 17% this year as the health crisis prompted a wave of stimulus from governments and central banks as they tried to minimize the damage to the global economy. Investors also continue to pile into gold-backed exchange-traded funds, with holdings at a record.

38,845 in U.S.Most new cases today

-10% Change in MSCI World Index of global stocks since Wuhan lockdown, Jan. 23

-1.​101 Change in U.S. treasury bond yield since Wuhan lockdown, Jan. 23

-2.​3% Global GDP Tracker (annualized), May


Spot gold was little changed at $1,770.26 an ounce at 9:04 a.m. in Singapore. Prices are up 12% in the three months ending June 30, and are set to cap seven straight quarters of gains, the longest such stretch since 2011. Gold futures on the Comex traded at $1,781.30 an ounce, closing in on the $1,800 level.

There’s also increased geopolitical tension after China’s top legislative body approved a landmark national security law for Hong Kong, a sweeping attempt to quell dissent that risks U.S. retaliation and the city’s appeal as a financial hub.

Among other main precious metals, spot silver fell 0.4%, platinum gained 0.2% and palladium climbed 0.5%.

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