Gold Holds Steady As Virus Worries Mount

Gold held steady on Friday and remains on course for its best week in nearly two months as spiraling coronavirus infections as well as uncertainty about the outcome of the U.S. presidential election dented investors’ appetite for risk.

Spot gold inched up 0.1 percent to $1,908.35 per ounce, while U.S. gold futures were down 0.1 percent at $1,914.05.

The U.S. dollar rose against most its peers and global stock markets fell after U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted that he and First Lady Melania Trump tested positive for coronavirus.

In his tweet on Friday early morning, Trump said, “Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!”

He had tweeted Thursday night that he and Melania Trump were starting quarantine after Hope Hicks, one of his closest aides, tested positive for the infection.

Trump, aged 74, is in the highest risk category for serious complications from the infection.

Rising European Covid-19 cases and uncertainty over further stimulus in the U.S. also raised fears of prolonged economic slump.

France’s Minister of Health Olivier Véran on Thursday warned that the capital Paris may go on maximum virus alert from Monday to control the spread of the virus.

In Germany, Spain and several other countries, authorities are focusing on reining in nightlife to curb a marked rebound in coronavirus infections that started in early July.

The White House countered House Democrats’ $2.2 trillion package with a $1.5 trillion-plus proposal but there are still major differences to be bridged in key areas.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. has been negotiating over a possible package with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, but those conversations haven’t yet yielded a bipartisan agreement.

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