Gold prices moved higher on Friday on safe-haven demand amid rising fears there could be another lockdown due to the sharp surge in new coronavirus cases in several states in the U.S.
Traders also reacted to the Federal Reserve’s comments that the nation’s biggest banks are healthy but could suffer up to $700 billion in losses on soured loans if the economy languishes. The Fed ordered certain banks to cap dividends and suspend share buybacks to conserve funds.
The dollar’s retreat contributed as well to gold’s uptick. The dollar index, which advanced to 97.68 a little before noon after languishing around 97.25 in the Asian session, gave up gains and was last seen at 97.43, its previous close.
Gold futures for August ended up $9.70 or almost 0.6% at $1,780.30 an ounce, recovering well from the day’s low of $1,754.00.
Silver futures for July closed higher by $0.140 or 0.8% at $18.035 an ounce, while Copper futures for July settled at 2.6590 per pound, losing $0.0040 or about 0.2%.
According to the U.S-based Johns Hopkins University, over 9.5 million people have been infected globally due to coronavirus, while the global death toll from the virus topped 484,000.
The United States has the highest case count in the world, with over 2.4 million, including 122,370 fatalities and 656,000 plus recoveries.
The highest single-day tally since the pandemic hit the country in January was partly driven by spikes in California, Florida, Texas, Alabama, Missouri and Nevada. Many of these states reported their highest daily toll.
As infections and hospitalizations go beyond control in the state, Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced that the next phase of reopening will be delayed.
The U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned that the number of infected people in the U.S. is most likely 10 times higher than what was officially reported.