Gold hits record

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Global equity benchmarks edged higher and gold soared to an all-time high on Monday as investors weighed expectations for another U.S. stimulus package against concerns that rising tensions between the United States and China will the slow the global economy’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

Gold jumped 2% to surpass its 2011 highs, and put $2,000 per ounce in sight. Silver climbed 7.5%, to take its July streak past 30%, which would be its best month on record.

China took over the premises of the U.S. consulate in the southwestern city of Chengdu on Monday, after ordering that the facility be vacated in retaliation after the U.S. ordered the shutdown of China’s consulate in Houston amid accusations of spying.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington and its allies must use “more creative and assertive ways” to press the Chinese Communist Party to change its ways.

“U.S. President (Donald) Trump used to say China’s President Xi Jinping is a great leader. But now Pompeo’s wording is becoming so aggressive that markets are starting to worry about further escalation,” said Norihiro Fujito, chief investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities.

MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.86% following mixed trading in Asia and broad declines in Europe after the United Kingdom imposed a quarantine on travelers returning from Spain, which has seen an increase in coronavirus cases.