Metals Stocks: Gold prices rise, on track for sharp weekly rise as lingering public-health crisis buoys bullion

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Gold futures were edging higher on Friday , with the yellow metal, on pace for a sharp weekly gain, as a second day of record rises in new COVID-19 cases in the U.S. has helped to spur demand for bullion, pushing it to around its highest level since 2012 earlier in the week.

U.S. states saw a single-day record rise of 37,000 in infections on Thursday, led by Florida, Texas, California and Arizona, surpassing the 36,188 level from April 24, according to analysis of data from Bloomberg, compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

August gold GCQ20, -0.05% was $2.10, or 0.1%, higher at $1,772.60 an ounce, following a decline of 0.3% on Thursday. Prices on Tuesday settled at the highest for a most-active contract since Oct. 4, 2012.

“Gold spot price is steady above $1,760, having achieved a 7½-year high,” wrote Carlo Alberto De Casa, chief analyst at ActivTrades, in a daily research note.

July silver SIN20, +0.08% rose 12 cents, or 0.7%, at $18.02, following a 1.3% return in the previous session.

For the week, gold is poised for a weekly advance of 1.1%, while silver futures were looking at a weekly gain of about 1%, based on the most-active contracts as of last Friday.

Meanwhile, the U.S. dollar against a half-dozen rival currencies was inching slightly higher on Friday, but looking at a weekly decline of 0.2%, according to FactSet data, measuring the ICE U.S. Dollar Index DXY, +0.02%. A weakening dollar can support buying of assets priced in the currency by buyers using alternative monetary units.

Central-bank stimulus across the globe and low or negative interest rates have also been viewed as factors that have been supportive to the buying of precious metals.

“Despite the recovery of the dollar seen in the last 48 hours, the price is resilient to decline, confirming a significant investor interest for the yellow metal,” De Casa wrote. “Technically the main scenario still appears positive, and we could be in a consolidation phase, with the market trying to gain strength for potential further rallies, which will have more chance of success if stocks decline and risk-off mode comes back,” he said.

Elsewhere on Comex, July copper HGN20, +0.50% rose 2 cents, or 0.9%, at $2.686 a pound. July platinum PLN20, +0.59% gained 0.6% to $807.10 an ounce and September palladium PAU20, +0.58% rose 0.5% to $1,854 an ounce.

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