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Gold Retreats to $1,700 on Diminished Haven Appeal Over COVID-19 Optimism

April 17, 2020 at 17:03 by Andrew Moran

Gold futures are retreating to $1,700 at the end of the trading week on broader economic optimism. US financial markets rallied on Friday after it was reported that the US government is considering reopening the country, and the pharmaceutical industry could be close to developing coronavirus treatments. Will this erase analysts’ opinions that gold prices could eye $2,000 by the end of the year?

June gold futures plunged $28.10, or 1.62%, to $1,703.30 per ounce at 16:46 GMT on Friday on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gold prices are also set to post a weekly loss of 2.2%, paring their year-to-date gains to around 12%.

Silver, the sister commodity to gold, is also sliding to finish the trading week. May silver futures tumbled $0.267, or 1.71%, to $15.355 per ounce. The white metal is poised for a steep weekly drop of 3.5%, adding to its YTD loss of 14%.

News broke on Thursday night that Gilead Sciences’ experimental drug, remdesivir, recorded “rapid recoveries” in 125 coronavirus patients, according to the University of Chicago Medicine researchers. Gilead responded to the report that more data needs to be extracted and analyzed.

[The] totality of the data [needs] to be analyzed in order to draw any conclusions from the trial. Anecdotal reports, while encouraging, do not provide the statistical power necessary to determine the safety and efficacy profile of remdesivir as a treatment for COVID-19.

The stock popped 8% on the news.

It was reported on Friday that Moderna would receive $483 million in federal funding for coronavirus vaccine development. The company stated that if it does successfully produce a vaccine, then the company would be ready to produce 600 million doses next year. The stock also surged 10%.

Meanwhile, the White House has developed a three-phase plan to reopen the nation after being shut down for more than a month due to the coronavirus pandemic. The first two phases err on the side of caution, choosing to allow many businesses and services to reopen but at reduced capacity. The third phase consists of permitting normalcy with social distancing guidelines in place.

The optimism led to triple-digit gains in the leading stock indexes, which also decreased gold’s haven appeal. If there is more certainty and a diminished bearish sentiment in the market, there would be less of a need for investors to possess bullion for protection.

Gold’s slide was capped by a weakening US dollar as the greenback dipped 0.25% to 99.78, from an opening of 99.86. A weaker buck is good for dollar-denominated commodities because it makes it cheaper for foreign investors to purchase.

In other metal markets, May copper futures surged $0.052, or 2.27%, to $2.343 per pound. May platinum futures shed $7.50, or 0.95%, to $785.80 an ounce. May palladium futures slipped $7.10, or 0.33%, to $2,113.60 per ounce.

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