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PRECIOUS-Gold soars to record high as virus fears lift safe-haven demand
Published at 03/08/2020 at 07:58

* Gold up 30% so far this year

* Spot gold may retreat into $1,943-$1,954/oz range - technicals

* Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus: open in an external browser

(Updates prices)

By Brijesh Patel

Aug 3 (Reuters) - Gold prices surged to an all-time high on Monday as fears about the economic fallout from rising COVID-19 cases boosted demand for the safe-haven metal, although gains were capped by an uptick in the U.S. dollar.

Spot gold was steady at $1,973.75 per ounce by 0635 GMT, after hitting a record high of $1,984.66 in early Asian trade.

U.S. gold futures rose 0.3% to $1,992.10.

"The sentiment across markets is deteriorating. First of all, rising infection rates are a real concern for the globe and a real support for gold prices. Given that, it is also driving U.S. dollar higher," said Michael McCarthy, chief strategist at CMC Markets.

Coronavirus cases continued to surge in the United States and stood at over 17.96 million globally.

Rising COVID-19 cases and simmering U.S.-China tensions have dented hopes for a swift economic recovery, driving inflows into safe-haven assets such as gold, which climbed 30% so far this year.

"Gold also saw safe-haven demand as the federal unemployment bonus expired on Friday, which would affect U.S. consumer income and spending and the U.S. Central Bank would thus remain dovish," Phillip Futures analysts said in a note.

U.S. lawmakers struggled to hammer out a new stimulus plan. White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said on Sunday he was not optimistic on near-term deal for coronavirus relief bill.

Limiting gold's advance, the dollar index rose 0.3% against its rivals, making bullion expensive for holders of others currencies.

China's factory activity expanded at the fastest pace in nearly a decade in July, a survey showed.

Spot gold may retreat into a range of $1,943-$1,954 per ounce as it failed again to break a resistance at $1,982, said Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.

Elsewhere, silver slipped 0.5% to $24.26 per ounce, platinum fell 1% to $897.61, while palladium was steady at $2,090.22.

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(Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

((Brijesh.Patel1@thomsonreuters.com; Within U.S. +1 651 848 5832, Outside U.S. +91 8067493865; Reuters Messaging: Brijesh.Patel1.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))