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PRECIOUS-Gold steadies near record high as virus concerns persist
Published at 04/08/2020 at 08:30

* Asia stocks rise on upbeat factory data

* Gold hit record high of $1,984.66/oz on Monday

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

(Updates prices)

By Brijesh Patel

Aug 4 (Reuters) - Gold held steady near record highs on Tuesday as worries over global economic fallout from mounting COVID-19 cases offset an uptick in risk sentiment driven by positive U.S. economic data.

Spot gold was steady at $1,976.19 per ounce by 0725 GMT, $8.47 shy of the all-time high hit in the previous session. U.S. gold futures rose 0.4% to $1,993.20.

"The coronavirus problem is going to be with us for a while. It seems that economies around the world will be very fragile for an extended period of time," said Edward Meir, analyst at ED&F Man Capital Markets.

"They (economies) would require stimulus, monetary easing and lower interest rates to cushion the shocks. All of those would be beneficial for gold."

Coronavirus cases continue to surge in the United States and elsewhere. The World Health Organization warned that the road to normality would be long, with some countries requiring a reset of strategy.

Central banks around the world have rolled out a flurry of stimulus measures and cut interest rates to mitigate the economic damage caused by the pandemic, helping gold rise more than 30% so far this year as it is seen as a hedge against inflation and fears of currency debasement.

Meanwhile, U.S. lawmakers said they had made progress in talks on a new coronavirus relief bill.

"What makes gold investing so appealing over the short-term or the medium-term perspective that when U.S. real yields are lower or negative, investors have no opportunity cost in owning bullion," Stephen Innes, chief market strategist at financial services firm AxiCorp, said in a note.

Holding back the metal, investor appetite for riskier assets rose after strong U.S. manufacturing data and gains in tech stocks.

Silver gained 0.4% to $24.34 per ounce, platinum

rose 0.5% to $921.26 and palladium climbed 0.8% to$2,100.73.

(Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Christian Schmollinger)

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