Gold prices edged higher on Thursday, as concerns over rising coronavirus cases dented hopes of a swift economic recovery, driving investors towards the safe-haven metal.

Spot gold was up 0.2% at $1,764.20 per ounce as of 0059 GMT.

On Wednesday, prices hit a near eight-year high of $1,779.06. But they ended lower as investors booked profits, snapping a three day winning streak.

US gold futures eased 0.1% to $1,773.60.

Three US states reported record increases in new cases on Wednesday — Florida, Oklahoma and South Carolina. More than 9.3 million people have been reported to be infected by the coronavirus globally.

The governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut ordered travellers from nine other US states to quarantine for 14 days on arrival.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) slashed its 2020 global output forecasts further as it sees deeper and wider damage from the pandemic than first thought.

Central banks worldwide have adopted aggressive stimulus measures and kept interest rates low during the crisis.

Gold, considered a safe investment during times of political and financial uncertainty, tends to benefit from widespread stimulus measures as its is widely viewed as a hedge against inflation and currency debasement.

Indicative of sentiment, SPDR Gold Trust holdings , rose 0.65% to 1,176.85 tonnes.

Asian markets were set to follow a tumble in Wall Street stocks after surging coronavirus cases and the IMF’s subdued projections shook confidence in a recovery.

The dollar index rose 0.1% against a basket of major currencies.

Palladium jumped 0.9% to $1,880.25 per ounce, platinum gained 0.2% to $801.43 and silver rose 0.2% at $17.56.


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