PRECIOUS-Gold slips on stronger equities, hopes of lockdown easing

PRECIOUS-Gold slips on stronger equities, hopes of lockdown easing

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 (Adds comment and updates prices)
    * Bank of Japan eases monetary policy
    * Spot gold may test support at $1,703 - analyst
    * For an interactive graphic tracking the global spread,
open tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7
 in an external browser

    By Asha Sistla
    April 27 (Reuters) - Gold prices fell on Monday as equities
gained on improved risk appetite boosted by fresh stimulus from
the Japanese central bank and countries planned easing of
coronavirus-led lockdowns, but continued worries over a global
recession capped losses.
    Spot gold        fell 0.5% to $1,718.68 per ounce by 0816
GMT. U.S. gold futures        rose 0.2% to $1,738.20.
    "Upside in equity and base metals, and technical resistance
are pressuring gold (triggering lower-side risk in gold
prices)," said Vandana Bharti, assistant vice-president of
commodity research at SMC Comtrade.  
    "Whenever we get stimulus measures and markets don't react,
then we see buying in gold. But this time, we're seeing a
positive reaction in equity markets."
    Asian shares bounced back on fresh stimulus from Japan's
central bank, with Chinese shares climbing higher on a drop in
new coronavirus cases in the country.                         
    The Bank of Japan ramped up risky asset purchases and
pledged to buy unlimited amounts of government bonds to combat
the economic fallout from the coronavirus epidemic.             
    "The peak(ing) (of the) virus will be the theme of the week.
Should be positive for equities but will sap the upside momentum
for gold for now," said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at
OANDA.
    "... Only the U.S. Federal Reserve really matters, and if
the world thinks we've reached peak virus and countries are
partially reopening, any extra stimulus will get drowned in
COVID-19 noise."
    Gold tends to benefit from widespread stimulus measures as
it is often seen as a hedge against inflation and currency
debasement.
    Various nations, including the United States, are on track
to ease certain restrictions and allow businesses to reopen,
raising investors' hopes of higher number of testing kits and
more drug trials.                          
    Holdings of the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded
fund, SPDR Gold Trust      , rose 0.6% to 1,048.31 tonnes on
Friday.          
     Spot gold may test a support at $1,703 per ounce, a break
below could cause a fall to $1,677, according to Reuters
technical analyst Wang Tao.         
    Palladium        gained 1% to $2,045.38 per ounce, while
platinum        rose 0.2% to $761.50 and silver        shed 0.3%
to $15.19. 

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