Gold firms as virus woes bolster demand
* Specs cut gold bullish positions in week ended July 14 - CFTC
* Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus: open https://tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7 in an external browser (Recasts, adds comments, updates prices)
By Eileen Soreng
July 20 (Reuters) - Gold prices inched up on Monday as escalating numbers of coronavirus cases around the world raised concerns over the pace of economic recovery and fuelled expectations of more stimulus measures.
Spot gold was up 0.1% at $1,810.79 per ounce by 1010 GMT, while U.S. gold futures were also 0.1% higher at $1,812.30.
Coronavirus cases continue to surge in the United States, and experts at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have warned that cases and deaths could rise this autumn and winter.
"The increase in the number of (Covid-19) infections in countries like the U.S., Brazil and India will make it longer for economies to recover," said ActivTrades chief analyst Carlo Alberto De Casa.
"Uncertainties remain high, and that is supporting gold prices," De Casa said, adding that markets are also betting on more dovish decisions by central banks.
The pandemic has so far infected more than 14 million people worldwide.
Investors are now looking to an ongoing European Union leaders meeting in Brussels over a proposed recovery fund designed to help the bloc cope with its deepest recession since World War Two.
Meanwhile a battle in the U.S. Congress over a new coronavirus-aid bill began last week as Republicans put the finishing touches to provisions granting liability protections for entities resuming operations amid the pandemic.
"ETF (exchange-traded fund) inflows remain evident and while recent CFTC data shows a reduction in non-commercial positioning as longs were cut, expect to see strong interest on any decline underneath $1,800," MKS PAMP said in a note.
"Strong support remains evident through $1,795-$1,790."
Speculators reduced their bullish positions in COMEX gold and increased them in silver contracts in the week to July 14. [CFTC/]
Also helping bullion, the dollar index eased 0.1% against rivals. [USD/]
Elsewhere, silver gained 0.7% to $19.43 per ounce.
Palladium fell 0.1% to $2,020.55 per ounce, while platinum edged 0.1% higher to $838.78. (Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru; Editing by Jan Harvey) ((email@example.com; Within U.S. +1 646 223 8780, Outside U.S. +91 80 6749 6131; Reuters Messaging: firstname.lastname@example.org)) Keywords: GLOBAL PRECIOUS/ (UPDATE 4)
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