By Barani Krishnan
Investing.com – Gold came within a few dollars of hitting $1,900 an ounce on Thursday as the yellow metal entered what appeared to be the last lap of gold bugs’ target for a new record high.
Silver, meanwhile, settled down for the first time in four days, diverging the first time this week from its joint rally with gold as the precious metals set continuous price milestones on assurance of stimulus from central banks worldwide to fight the coronavirus.
settled up $24.90, or 1.3%, at $1,890 per ounce. That was the highest since September 2011, when Comex gold hit a record high of $1,911.60.
settled down 15.60 cents, or 0.7%, at $22.988 per ounce. In Wednesday’s session, it hit $23.345. That was the highest for silver since September 2013, when it got to $24.46 an ounce on Comex.
Gold’s continued rally on Thursday came on the back of the dollar’s drop, as indicated by the , which ties the greenback to a basket of six currencies. Renewed U.S.-China tensions also boosted gold’s safe-haven appeal.
“Gold’s rally is accelerating as the dollar slumps and coronavirus concerns heighten amid intensifying tensions between Beijing and Washington,” said Ed Moya of New York-based OANDA.
“Too many risks to the global outlook means gold might not struggle to capture the psychological $1,900 level this week. If Asia continues to see steep rises with infections, there will be little hope that the U.S. and Latin America will get the virus under control.”
Gold’s reach toward $1,900 came amid data showing that some 1.4 million Americans filed for first-time unemployment claims last week, as a new wave of coronavirus infections continued to overwhelm the world’s largest economy that just emerged from lockdowns two months ago.
The United States recorded more than 915,000 Covid-19 cases over the past two weeks, more than the number reported for all of June.
Top U.S. pandemics expert Anthony Fauci said earlier this month that the daily case growth could reach 100,000 without proper social- distancing and other safety measures.
Nearly 4 million Americans have already been infected by the COVID-19 so far, with a death toll reaching above 143,000, according to Johns Hopkins University. A new model by the University of Washington also predicts 200,000 coronavirus deaths in the United States by Oct. 1, casting further doubts on economic reopening from lockdowns.
The U.S. economy shrank 5% in the first three months of 2020 for its sharpest decline since the Great Recession of 2008-09, as most of the 50 states in the country went into lockdown to stem the outbreak of the virus. While most businesses have reopened over the past two months, economists still warn of a double-digit recession by the second quarter — meaning job losses could continue.
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