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Gold eases as dollar firms; virus fears cap losses

Aug 4 – Gold prices edged lower on Tuesday as the dollar strengthened and risk appetite improved after positive U.S. economic data, while fears over surging coronavirus cases limited losses for the safe-haven metal. FUNDAMENTALS * Spot gold was down 0.2% at $1,973.54 per ounce by 0026 GMT. It hit an all-time high of $1,984.66 in the previous session. * U.S. gold futures rose 0.2% to $1,989.20. * The dollar index rose 0.1% against its rivals, crawling further away from a more than two-year low hit last week. A stronger greenback makes gold more expensive for holders of other currencies. * U.S. manufacturing activity accelerated to its highest level in nearly 1-1/2 years in July as orders increased despite a resurgence in new COVID-19 infections. * Asian shares were on track to open higher on Tuesday, after strong manufacturing data and gains in tech stocks boosted global equities. * More than 18.19 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 689,871 have died, according to a Reuters tally. * The World Health Organization warned on Monday that there might never be a “silver bullet” for COVID-19 in the form of a perfect vaccine and that the road to normality would be long. * The top Democrats in the U.S. Congress and White House negotiators on Monday said they had made progress in talks on a new coronavirus relief bill. * The U.S. economy, battered by a resurgence in the spread of COVID-19, needs increased government spending to tide over households and businesses and broader use of masks to better control the virus, U.S. central bankers said on Monday. * Silver fell 0.1% to $24.22 per ounce, platinum rose 0.2% to $918.50 and palladium gained 0.3% to $2,090.21. DATA/EVENTS (GMT) 0130 Australia Retail Sales MM June 1400 US Factory Orders MM June (Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

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