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Gold eases off record as dollar regains momentum

By Eileen Soreng

Aug 7 – Gold’s record-breaking rally paused on Friday as the dollar got some respite from investors looking for a hedge against the U.S.-China spat, but fears over a worsening pandemic kept bullion on track for its longest streak of weekly gains in about a decade.

Spot gold was 0.6% lower at $2,051.52 per ounce by 1158 GMT, having hit another record high of $2,072.50 in early trade. It has added about 4% so far this week for what would be its ninth straight weekly gain.

U.S. gold futures eased 0.3% to $2,064.20.

“There is a bounce in the dollar in the last 24 hours and it is key to the profit-taking we are seeing in gold,” said OANDA analyst Craig Erlam.

However, the momentum is still very much with the bulls and $2,100 for gold is likely in the near term, he added.

The dollar rebounded from a two-year low as President Donald Trump’s decision to ban U.S. transactions with two popular Chinese apps weighed on risk sentiment.

The U.S. currency has in many instances been the preferred refuge during the flare-ups between Washington and Beijing.

“The dollar’s performance has a major say on how much runway gold bulls are accorded,” said FXTM market analyst Han Tan.

Gold has risen about 35% this year amid surging COVID-19 cases that have battered economies and prompted unprecedented global stimulus measures.

“There would have to be a paradigm shift in the outlooks for global monetary policy and the worldwide economy, before considering whether gold’s surge has run its course,” Tan added.

Investors are now waiting for U.S. non-farm payrolls data due at 1230 GMT.

Elsewhere, silver slid 3.3% to $27.99, having earlier hit its highest since February 2013. It has gained about 15% so far this week.

Platinum dipped 2.9% to $968.53 an ounce, while palladium declined 2.4% to $2,168.02. (Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise, Kirsten Donovan)

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