Picture: 123RF/REAL ROCKING
Picture: 123RF/REAL ROCKING

Gold was flat, trading in a narrow $4 range on Friday, as worries over surging coronavirus cases globally and lingering trade tensions between the US and China overshadowed strong US jobs data. Spot gold was unchanged at $1,775.12/oz by 2.32am GMT.

US markets are closed on Friday for observing Independence Day on July 4.

US gold futures eased 0.1% to $1,787.80/oz.

“Nagging doubts appear to remain in investors’ minds about the explosion of Covid-19 cases in the US sunbelt states and its possible negative effect on the recovery going forward,” said Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst at Oanda. “Geopolitical considerations are also to the fore ... with a holiday in the US, and the weekend upon us, some haven directed buying of gold is definitely evident.”

Florida reported more than 10,000 new Covid-19 cases on Thursday, while more than 10.76-million people have been infected worldwide.

Markets also kept a wary eye on China’s trade relations with the US. More than 75 members of the US Congress sent a letter to President Donald Trump urging him to take make a formal determination on whether China’s treatment of Muslim Uighurs and other groups constitutes an atrocity.

Gold is considered a safe store of value during political and financial uncertainty. Indicative of sentiment, holdings of SPDR Gold Trust rose 0.8% to 1,191.47 tonnes on Thursday. Stemming bullion’s advance, the better-than-expected US jobs reports lifted sentiment in wider financial markets. The US economy created jobs at a record clip in June, but 31.5-million Americans were collecting unemployment cheques in the middle of the month.

Palladium was steady at $1,901.44/oz, while platinum rose 0.5% to $806.63/oz. Silver gained 0.6% to $17.90/oz, heading for its fourth consecutive weekly gain.

Reuters