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Gold edges higher on virus fears, China-U.S. tensions

Credit: REUTERS/MICHAEL DALDER

Gold inched higher on Wednesday, holding firm above the key $1,800 level, as worries over surging coronavirus cases and simmering China-U.S. tensions lifted demand for the safe-haven metal.

July 15 (Reuters) - Gold inched higher on Wednesday, holding firm above the key $1,800 level, as worries over surging coronavirus cases and simmering China-U.S. tensions lifted demand for the safe-haven metal.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold was up 0.1% at $1,809.41 per ounce by 0031 GMT. U.S. gold futures were steady at $1,813.70.

* Coronavirus cases continue to rise in the United States. With more than 3.3 million cases, it has one of the highest rates of cases per capita in the world.

* Many U.S. states have temporarily halted the reopening of their economies in order to curtail the outbreak, which has infected more than 13 million people worldwide so far.

* Federal Reserve officials warned on Tuesday the U.S. economy faces a longer recovery from the pandemic, and economic pain could still worsen as cases mount.

* U.S. President Donald Trump signed legislation and an executive order to hold China "accountable" for the national security law it imposed on Hong Kong.

* Trump also shut the door on "Phase 2" trade negotiations with China, saying he does not want to talk to Beijing about trade because of the coronavirus pandemic.

* The Bank of Japan is expected to hold steady on policy after Wednesday's meeting, but investors will be gauging its economic projections and any reassurances of additional stimulus if needed.

* Gold tends to benefit from widespread stimulus measures from central banks because it is widely viewed as a hedge against inflation and currency debasement.

* Palladium rose 0.6% to $1,971.49 per ounce, platinum gained 0.6% to $831.03 and silver climbed 0.3% to $19.26.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT) 1315 US

Industrial Production MM June 1800 US

Federal Reserve issues the Beige Book of

economic condition -- Japan JP BOJ Rate Decision (Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu) ((Brijesh.Patel1@thomsonreuters.com; Within U.S. +1 651 848 5832, Outside U.S. +91 8067493865; Reuters Messaging: Brijesh.Patel1.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: GLOBAL PRECIOUS/

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