Stocks in Asia retreated with US equity futures after the top American infectious disease expert said deaths from the coronavirus in the world’s largest economy may reach 200,000.
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With signs that the historic gold squeeze is easing, investors’ focus returns to measures from governments and central banks to cushion the fallout from the virus.
President Donald Trump signed a $2 trillion economic stimulus package Friday, the largest in U.S. history, while the Federal Reserve has pledged unlimited bond purchases.
Elsewhere, the European Central Bank scrapped most of the bond-buying limits in its pandemic emergency program.
“The precious metal sector has been the clear winner from the unprecedented U.S. fiscal measures to support the reeling economy,” analysts at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. said in a note.
Spot gold retreated 0.5% to $1,620.76 an ounce at 9:21 a.m. in Singapore after earlier gaining 0.6%. Prices jumped 8.6% last week. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index added 0.2%.
The spread between London and New York prices stood at about $35 an ounce on Monday, compared with more than $60 last week.
Money managers cut their short position in gold by 78% in the week ended Tuesday, the most in government records going back more than a decade.
In other precious metals, silver fell 2.2%, platinum dropped 2%, and palladium advanced 1.7%. Holdings in exchange-traded funds backed by palladium are near the lowest since 2008.
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