Off The Wire
Gold climbs as fears over surging virus cases boost demand
* Spot gold rose 0.1% to $1,772.61 per ounce by 0015 GMT. Prices were $6.45 shy of a near eight-year high of $1,779.06, hit last week.
* U.S. gold futures gained 0.3% to $1,785.90.
* California on Sunday ordered some bars to close, the first major rollback of efforts to reopen the economy in the most populous U.S. state, as cases nationwide soar to record levels day after day.
* The death toll from COVID-19 around the world reached half a million people on Sunday, according to a Reuters tally.
* The outlook for a global economic recovery over the past month has worsened or at best stayed about the same, according to a firm majority of economists in Reuters polls.
* Retail sales in Japan tumbled at a double-digit pace for the second straight month in May as the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown measures delivered a heavy blow to consumer confidence.
* Gold is used as a safe investment during times of political and financial uncertainty.
* Indicative of sentiment, SPDR Gold Trust , said its holdings rose 0.3% to 1,178.90 tonnes on Friday.
* Speculators increased their bullish positions in COMEX gold and silver contracts in the week to June 23.
* On the physical side, gold discounts widened in China and India last week as a surge in infections restricted buying.
* Palladium gained 1.3% to $1,884.88 per ounce, while platinum rose 0.6% to $796.07 and silver climbed 0.6% at $17.85.