Gold Sticks Above $1,700 May 27, 2020 Gold sticks above $1,700 this morning, after slipping below that marker overnight on profit taking and as hopes of an economic recovery increased investors’ risk appetite. Global stock markets have rallied as communities worldwide start to reopen after a months of coronavirus driven shut downs. News of a second fiscal-stimulus package from Japan and comments from Jamie Dimon, the head of JPMorgan Chase, that the recovery could be “fairly rapid” helped boost equities early Wednesday as cities, states and countries began to emerge from coronavirus-related lockdowns. But losses in gold and gains in equities were curbed by increasingly frosty relations between the U.S. and China. The U.S. is considering sanctions on Chinese companies and officials to punish it for a crackdown in Hong Kong, Bloomberg reported. Rhetoric between Washington and Beijing has been worsening in recent weeks as the countries criticized each other’s approach to combatting the novel coronavirus. The superpowers were at a standoff over trade all last year. August gold futures dropped 1.4% Tuesday to settle at $1,728.20 an ounce on Comex. There was no settlement Monday because of the U.S. Memorial Day holiday. Currently, the August contract is at $1,708.80 while the DG spot price is $1,707.30. The virus known as COVID-19 has killed more than 350,000 people worldwide and sickened 5.63 million. About 30% of the cases are in the U.S., though just 28% of the deaths. The U.S. has more cases than any other country. The Bank of Nova Scotia disclosed Tuesday that it had set aside C$232 million ($168 million) to cover the costs of closing its precious-metals unit and potentially settle U.S. investigations into its trading activities, Bloomberg reported. The bank said it was shuttering its precious-metals business last month. Meanwhile, the U.S. imported a record 111.7 tons of gold from Switzerland in April, Reuters reported, citing customs data released Tuesday. Shipments from Switzerland to other locations declined. In economic news, St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard is set to speak Wednesday, and the Beige Book report of the 12 Fed districts is set to come out in the afternoon. Any sign of increased stimulus would be seen as bullish for gold because the metal is used as a hedge against inflation. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell is scheduled to speak virtually Friday. Investors will also be seeking direction from the latest U.S. initial jobless claims on Thursday. New applications have risen by 38.6 million since the pandemic began, according to the latest Labor Department data. July silver futures decreased 0.6% Tuesday to settle at $17.60 an ounce on Comex. The July contract is currently at $17.355, while the DG spot price is $17.15. Spot palladium rose 1.1% Tuesday to $2,012.40 an ounce, while spot platinum fell 1.6% Tuesday to $834.00 an ounce. Currently, the DG spot for platinum is $832.30, while palladium is $1,969.30.