BENGALURU (REUTERS) – Gold smashed a record high on Friday (Aug 7) as a safety rush fuelled by the worsening coronavirus pandemic and its mounting economic toll gathered pace and put bullion on track for its longest weekly winning streak in nearly a decade.

Spot gold was up 0.3 per cent at US$2,069.78 per ounce by 0308 GMT after hitting an all-time high of US$2,072.50 in early trade. It has added 4.7 per cent so far this week in what would be its ninth straight weekly gain. US gold futures rose 0.6 per cent to US$2,081.60.

Silver too continued its stellar run. It rose as much as 3.1 per cent to US$29.84, adding nearly 19 per cent so far this week in what would be its best week since 1987.

“It’s difficult to hold anything but a constructive view (on gold),” said ING analyst Warren Patterson.

“Whilst the pace of the rally may slow, there certainly does seem to further upside in the near term, and for the remainder of the year.”

Surging Covid-19 cases in the United States have dampened hopes for a nascent economic recovery and weighed on rival safe-haven US dollar. The greenback was headed for its seventh consecutive weekly decline.

Gold is likely to hover around US$2,020-2,080 an ounce in the near term, said National Australia Bank economist John Sharma.

“The key factor will be how this virus plays out, and whether there is any progress on vaccines,” he added.

enchmark 10-year US Treasury yields were at five-month lows, making the non-interest bearing bullion an attractive investment, and helping it rise more than 35 per cent so far this year.

The next focus is closely-watched US employment data, due at 1230 GMT, which is expected to show a payroll increase of 1.58 million in July, compared to 4.8 million in the previous month.

“A below consensus number could provide another boost for gold,” ING’s Mr Patterson said.

Elsewhere, platinum dropped 2.1 per cent to US$976.72 an ounce and palladium fell 0.6 per cent to US$2,208.82.