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Gold rises over 1.7% as U.S. Fed ramps up support measures

Kitco News

March 24 (Reuters) - Gold prices rose on Tuesday, following a near 4% jump in the previous session after the U.S. Federal Reserve announced unprecedented measures to support an economy which is reeling from the coronavirus pandemic.

* Spot gold climbed 1.7% to $1,578.83 per ounce by 0116 GMT. The metal rose 3.7% on Monday, its highest percentage gain since June 2016.

* U.S. gold futures rose 1.6% to $1,592.20 per ounce.
* For the first time, the Fed will back purchases of corporate bonds, backstop direct loans to companies and will "soon" roll out a program to get credit to small and medium-sized business.
* Asian shares were set to rally as the U.S. central bank pledged to help the economy from a fallout. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan added 0.5% in early trade.
* President Donald Trump said on Monday he is considering how to reopen the U.S. economy when a 15-day shutdown ends next week, even as the coronavirus spreads rapidly.
* A far-reaching virus economic stimulus package remained stalled in the U.S. Senate on Monday as Democrats said it contained too little money for states and hospitals and not enough restrictions on a fund to help big businesses.
* Global central banks also took various measures to mitigate the damage of the outbreak, with Australia's;s central bank proposing to buy $2.35 billion in government bonds, while Germany agreed for a package worth up to $808 billion.
* Three of the world's;s largest gold refineries said on Monday they had suspended production in Switzerland for at least a week after local authorities ordered the closure of non-essential industry to curtail the spread of the virus.
* Holdings of the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, SPDR Gold Trust , rose 1.8% to 923.99 tonnes on Monday.
* Palladium surged 7.3% to $1,844.50 per ounce, while platinum rose 4.5% to $671.11 and silver jumped 5.4% to $13.97 per ounce.
DATA/EVENTS (GMT) 0815 France Markit Serv, Comp, Mfg Flash PMIs March 0830 Germany Markit Serv, Comp, Mfg Flash PMIs March 0900 EU Markit Serv, Comp, Mfg Flash PMIs March 0930 UK Flash Serv, Comp, Mfg PMIs March 1345 US Flash Markit Serv, Comp, Mfg PMIs March 1400 US New Home Sales-Units Feb (Reporting by Asha Sistla in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath)

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