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NEW YORK: Gold prices soared past the key $2,000 mark for the first time in history on Tuesday, as the ultra-low interest rate environment and hopes for more US stimulus to safeguard the coronavirus-hit economy embellished the safe-haven metal's appeal.

Spot goldjumped as much as 1.6% to $2,009.13 an ounce, and was up 1.4% at $2,004.35 by 2:42 p.m. EDT (1842 GMT). US gold futures , which also surged to a record peak of $2,027.30, settled 1.7% higher at $2,021.

"Safe-haven buying has propelled gold prices to breach $2,000 for the first time as the US dollar tested lows last seen over two years ago, negative real rates fell to levels last seen in 2013 and expectations for further stimulus packages continue to build," said Standard Chartered analyst Suki Cooper.

"Given how quickly prices have rallied, the risk of a temporary pullback has risen," Cooper said, adding the balance of risks still remain skewed to the upside in light of the macro backdrop remaining "exceptionally favourable."

Talks between White House and Democratic leaders in the US Congress were finally moving in the "right direction" as they tried to reach an agreement over a major coronavirus relief bill, a US Senate's top Democrat said.

The confirmation that there has been development in negotiations with Republicans on new COVID-19 support has boosted gold back to recent highs, said Tai Wong, head of base and precious metals derivatives trading at BMO. Bullion has surged a stellar 32% so far this year, supported mainly by lower interest rates and widespread stimulus by global central banks to ease the economic blow from the pandemic.

Prices can rally towards the $2,300 level by the year-end, according to Edward Moya, senior market analyst at broker OANDA.

"The treasury market is strongly signalling that this lower interest rate environment is here to stay. In the last decade, treasuries always had the edge over gold but right now that's not the case, we're going to see investors' primary focus be on gold."

Other precious metals also followed suit, with silver rallying as much as 7% to a one-week peak of $25.95 an ounce on upbeat factory data, and was last up 5.6% at $25.60. Platinum rose 1.4% to $928.78 and palladium rose 2.3% to $2,132.63.