Gold holds firm near record peak amid persisting coronavirus concerns
Gold prices steadied after rising to record highs in the prior session amid growing worries over the global economic fallout from mounting COVID-19 cases. However, improving risk appetite following positive U.S. economic data limited the safe-haven metal's upside.
Spot gold was trading flat at $1,977.65 per ounce by 0824 GMT, having hit an all time high of $1,986.76 on Monday. U.S. gold futures rose 0.4 percent to $1,982.25.993.
Asian shares surged after strong manufacturing data and gains in tech stocks boosted investor risk sentiment.
According to a Reuters tally, more than 18.19 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 689,871 have died. The World Health Organization warned that the road to normality would be long, with some countries requiring a change of strategy.
U.S. manufacturing activity accelerated to its highest level in nearly 1-1/2 years in July as orders increased despite a resurgence in new COVID-19 infections. However, output remains far below pre-virus levels and the employment index was below forecasts, raising fears about the sustainability of a budding economic recovery.
Meanwhile, the top Democrats in the U.S. Congress and White House negotiators said they had made progress in talks on a new coronavirus relief bill. Chicago Fed President Charles Evans reiterated overnight that the next help for the virus-battered U.S. economy must come from fiscal policy, shifting investors focus on signs of progress in Washington.
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will meet with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows on Tuesday to continue talks, raising hopes for a breakthrough on the relief bill.
The safe-haven metal was also supported by U.S. President Donald Trump's threat to ban TikTok unless its U.S. operations are sold off from ByteDance. The U.S.-China conflict is likely to worsen as Washington is also preparing to take action against other Chinese software companies that could share user data with Beijing.
The greenback against a basket of currencies traded 0.1 percent down at 93.43, having touched a low of 92.55 on Thursday, its lowest since May 2018. The U.S. Treasury yields edged lower, with the benchmark 10-year note yield trading at 0.548 percent.