Gold prices hit US$2,000 an ounce for first time
Coronavirus and uncertainty over stimulus in the United States has sent gold over the US$2,000 per-ounce threshold. (AFP)
NEW YORK -- Gold prices on Tuesday hit US$2,000 an ounce for the first time, the latest surge in a commodity seen as a refuge during economic uncertainty.
The precious metal hit the symbolically important benchmark near 12:15 p.m. EDT before retreating somewhat then crossing the line again about 30 minutes later.
Gold prices have risen more than 30 per cent this year as the coronavirus outbreak has weakened the economy and clouded the global financial outlook.
Also weighing on investors were concerns over whether the United States will pass another spending measure to support the world's largest economy as it weathers a prolonged and deadly coronavirus outbreak.
Democrats and Republicans in Congress have yet to strike a deal despite days of negotiations.
"The gold price is viewed as buying opportunities," Commerzbank said in an analysis.
"This comes as no surprise in view of the ongoing high numbers of new COVID-19 cases, the continuing cliffhanger in U.S. Congress over an additional economic aid package, ever more widespread negative real interest rates and highly-valued stock markets."
Wall Street stocks were cautiously advancing in early-afternoon trading, with the Dow up 0.4 per cent as traders digested reports claiming recent progress towards a deal in Washington.
"There's a big desire from both parties to get some kind of stimulus passed. I think the market is expecting that," said Bob Phillips, at Spectrum Management Group.