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Gold prices set for sixth straight quarterly gain

Spot gold was down 0.3% at $1,616.34 an ounce, as of 0037 GMT. U.S. gold futures eased 0.1% to $1,641.20.

March 31, 2020 / 07:15 AM IST

Gold prices eased on Tuesday as the U.S. dollar held firm, while fears of further economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic provided some supported to bullion, which is on track to post its sixth straight quarterly gain.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold was down 0.3% at $1,616.34 an ounce, as of 0037 GMT. U.S. gold futures eased 0.1% to $1,641.20.

* The metal was up about 6.5% for the quarter, set for its sixth consecutive quarterly percentage rise.

* The dollar held steady against its key rivals, having gained 0.8% in the previous session as investors braced for prolonged uncertainty and governments tightened lockdowns and launched monetary and fiscal measures to fight the virus.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

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Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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* Asian shares managed a tentative rally on Tuesday after European and U.S. equities stabilised.

* Trade ministers from the Group of 20 major economies agreed on Monday to keep their markets open and ensure the continued flow of vital medical supplies, equipment and other essential goods as the world battles the pandemic.

* U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday that federal social distancing guidelines might be toughened and travel restrictions with China and Europe would stay in place as he urged Americans to help fight the fast-spreading coronavirus.

* Banks across the euro zone are tearing up plans to return cash to shareholders at the behest of regulators, instead shoring up reserves as the virus threatens to tip the world into a deep recession.

* China, meanwhile, ramped up efforts on Monday to heal the economy as health authorities reported a further drop in new cases, although the country remains wary of carriers of the disease coming from abroad and infected people who exhibit no symptoms.

* The world's largest platinum producers Anglo American Platinum , Sibanye-Stillwater and Impala Platinum have declared force majeure on contracts after a three-week national lockdown in South Africa forced operations to close.

* Palladium gained 1% to $2,349.90 an ounce. Platinum rose 0.5% to $727.06, but was on track to post its biggest quarterly percentage loss since 2008.

* Silver  dropped 0.7% to $14.02, and was set to post its worst quarter since 2013.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT)

0600 UK GDP YY, QQ Q4

0755 Germany Unemployment Rate, Chg March

0900 EU HICP Flash YY March

0900 EU HICP-X F&E Flash YY March

1400 U.S. Consumer Confidence March
Reuters
first published: Mar 31, 2020 07:10 am

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