Spot gold XAU= gained 0.4% to $1,721 per ounce by 0243 GMT, having touched its highest since Nov. 2012 at $1,725.10 earlier in the session. U.S. gold futures GCv1 rose 1.1% to $1,781.20 an ounce.
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“The concerns about the economic outlook are particularly supportive for gold. Liquidity (from the Federal Reserve) combined with the background of lower interest rates makes gold a much more attractive proposition,” said Michael McCarthy, chief strategist at CMC Markets.
Many countries and central banks have taken fiscal and monetary measures to prop up their economies amid the coronavirus outbreak.
The Fed last week announced a $2.3 trillion stimulus package, while European Union finance ministers agreed on half-a-trillion euros worth of economic support.
The Fed’s stimulus measures aimed at injecting liquidity into the virus-hit U.S. economy tend to weigh on the dollar, which makes gold relatively cheaper to buy, while lower interest rates reduce the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.
A steep economic downturn and massive rescue spending will nearly quadruple the fiscal 2020 U.S. budget deficit to a record $3.8 trillion, a staggering 18.7% of U.S. economic output, a Washington-based watchdog group said on Monday.
Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund said it would provide debt relief to 25 member countries under its Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust to allow them to focus more financial resources on fighting the pandemic.
Reflecting appetite for bullion, holdings in SPDR Gold Trust GLD , the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund (ETF), rose 1.6% to 1,009.70 tonnes on Monday.
“Gold as a safe-haven has gained traction as currencies are being devalued by massive stimulus programs. This has also increased physical demand of gold (such as ETFs) to hedge against the debasement of fiat currencies,” said Avtar Sandu, a senior commodities manager at Phillip Futures, in a note.
Palladium XPD= rose 2.5% to $2,243.12 per ounce. Silver XAG= gained 0.3% to $15.50 and platinum XPT= was up 1% at $755.51 an ounce.
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