Gold holds steady above $1,800/oz on virus fears, U.S.-China tensions
July 16 (Reuters) - Gold held steady above the psychological level of $1,800/ounce on Thursday, as concerns about rising coronavirus cases and lingering Sino-U.S. tensions countered optimism over promising early data for a potential COVID-19 vaccine.
* Spot gold was little changed at $1,810.33 per ounce by 0045 GMT. U.S. gold futures were mostly unchanged at $1,814.20.
* More than 13.5 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 580,836 have died, according to a Reuters tally.
* The total number of coronavirus cases in the United States was nearing 3.5 million, by far the highest for any country in the world, and more than 136,000 Americans have died from the highly contagious respiratory illness to date.
* U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday ordered an end to Hong Kong's special status under U.S. law to punish China for what he called "oppressive actions" against the former British colony, prompting Beijing to warn of retaliatory sanctions.
* Gold is often used as a safe store of value during times of political and financial uncertainty.
* Asian shares look set to continue a march upwards as optimism over a coronavirus vaccine carry weight over the ongoing spread of the disease and simmering U.S.-China tensions. [MKTS/GLOB]
* Market participants now await China's second-quarter GDP data due later in the day, along with June factory output, retail sales and fixed-asset investment.
* A Reuters poll showed analysts expect China to report 2.5% economic growth, reversing a 6.8% first-quarter decline driven by the pandemic.
* Palladium rose 0.4% to $1,989.24 per ounce, while platinum lost 0.6% to $827.41 and silver fell 0.1% to $19.36.
DATA/EVENTS (GMT) 0200 China Retail Sales YY
Q2 1145 EU
ECB Refinancing Rate, Deposit Rate July 1230 US
Initial Jobless Claim
Retail Sales MM
June (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.email@example.com)) Keywords: GLOBAL PRECIOUS/
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