Gold held steady on Monday as lingering fears of a surge in coronavirus cases countered pressure from stronger equities and the market awaited U.S. services sector data expected later in the day.
Spot gold was up 0.1% at $1,776.76 per ounce by 1143 GMT. U.S. gold futures fell 0.2% to $1,786.40 per ounce.
In the first four days of July, 15 U.S. states have reported record increases in new cases of COVID-19, causing some to halt plans to ease lockdowns. Cases continued to soar in countries including India, Australia and Mexico.
“Some (riskier) asset classes are showing optimism over the revival of the U.S economy, but with U.S.-China relations and the shape of the recovery, sentiment for gold will be positive,” said Jigar Trivedi, commodities analyst at Mumbai broker Anand Rathi Shares.
Most bullish factors for gold have already been discounted but a worsening of U.S.-China trade relations may provide some buying momentum, he added.
Global shares hit a four-week high as Chinese activity rebounded, while investors awaited U.S. services sector activity data for June due later.
Economists polled by Reuters expect the Institute for Supply Management`s (ISM) non-manufacturing data to rise to 50 in June from 45.4, signalling a revival in economic activity.
But global stimulus measures to cushion economies from the fallout of coronavirus-induced lockdowns and lower real yields have lifted non-interest bearing gold 17% so far this year.
“With an increasing number of U.S. states imposing lockdowns again, it should result in the Federal Reserve`s balance sheet continuing to grow and interest rates kept low,” Phillip Futures said in a note.
That in turn would provide underlying support for gold, it said.
On a technical level, spot gold is biased to break resistance at $1,778 per ounce, said Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.
Palladium fell 1.1% to $1,901.85 per ounce, while platinum rose 1.6% to $812.49 per ounce. Silver gained 0.9% to $18.20 per ounce.