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PRECIOUS-Gold edges up on Delta virus threat, lower U.S. bond yields

Credit: REUTERS/ILYA NAYMUSHIN

Gold prices edged higher on Monday, lifted by a retreat in U.S. Treasury yields and concerns that a surge in coronavirus cases could dampen global economic recovery, though an uptick in the dollar limited gains for the safe-haven metal.

By Brijesh Patel

July 19 (Reuters) - Gold prices edged higher on Monday, lifted by a retreat in U.S. Treasury yields and concerns that a surge in coronavirus cases could dampen global economic recovery, though an uptick in the dollar limited gains for the safe-haven metal.

Spot gold XAU= was up 0.1% at $1,812.83 per ounce, as of 0243 GMT, after falling 1% in the previous session.

U.S. gold futures GCv1 eased 0.1% to $1,813.70.

"Covid-driven risk aversion is driving Asian markets today after a weak finish on Wall Street on Friday," said Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst at OANDA.

"Some short-covering is providing modest support to gold, but it not displaying any clear momentum in either direction."

Sentiment in wider financial markets remained weak as investor risk appetite was soured by growing inflationary pressures and a relentless surge in coronavirus cases. MKTS/GLOB

Many countries, particularly in Asia, are struggling to curb the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus and have been forced into taking lockdown measures.

Gold is used as a safe investment during times of political and financial uncertainty.

Benchmark 10-year Treasury yields US10YT=RR dropped to a near two-week low, reducing the opportunity cost of holding non-interest bearing gold.

However, safe-haven gains for the U.S. dollar limited gold's appeal, as the dollar index .DXY strengthened 0.1% towards a three-month high against its rivals. USD/

"Negative real yields appear to be driving gold prices in the face of a stronger USD. We expect the U.S. dollar to weaken as other central banks hike rates," ANZ analysts said in a note.

"Inflows in gold-and silver-backed ETFs are steady as talk of fiscal tightening increases. Lean speculative positioning in both gold and silver leaves room for a price rise."

Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust GLD, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 0.6% to 1,028.55 tonnes on Friday, the lowest since May 14. GOL/ETF

Elsewhere, silver XAG= fell 0.6% to $25.50 per ounce, palladium XPD= rose 0.2% to $2,635.65, and platinum XPT= eased 0.2% to $1,100.55.

(Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

((Brijesh.Patel1@thomsonreuters.com; Within U.S. +1 651 848 5832, Outside U.S. +91 8067493865; Reuters Messaging: Brijesh.Patel1.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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