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Gold edges higher as traders weigh record covid-19 infections


Gold edged higher as investors assessed the resilience of the global economic recovery, with Covid-19 cases hitting a pandemic record.

More than 1.44 million infections worldwide on Monday smashed the previous high after factoring out a statistical blip in Turkey last year. While the highly-transmissible omicron is spreading rapidly around the world, studies suggest that illness caused by the new strain isn't as severe as in previous waves.

Bullion is heading for its first annual loss in three years as central banks start to dial back pandemic-era stimulus to contain inflation. The S&P 500 notched its 69th record close of 2021 on Monday, suggesting investors remain relatively sanguine about risks from omicron.

The U.K. said it won't introduce stricter Covid-19 restrictions in England before the end of the year despite a surge in cases, while the U.S. cut the recommended isolation time for Americans with the virus to five days from 10 days.

"Gold has turned rangebound near $1,810 an ounce, reflecting the relative stability in the U.S. dollar index and bond yields amid a lack of fresh triggers," said Madhavi Mehta, a senior analyst at Kotak Securities Ltd. "Virus concerns have subsided, however rising cases and restrictions to limit the spread is a cause of concern."

Spot gold advanced 0.2% to $1,815.57 an ounce at 10:15 a.m. in London, gaining for a fifth day. Bullion is still down more than 4% this year. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.1%. Silver and platinum edged higher, while palladium fell 0.7%.

"The sideways trend will continue in the $1,750 to $1,820 range," said Victor Foo, chief executive officer of Singapore Precious Metals Exchange. "Gold will face some resistance above $1,815 and moving forwards will continue to struggle at these levels unless the dollar moves sharply lower."

Copper futures for March dropped 0.4% on the Comex after closing at a two-month high on Monday.

Published : December 29, 2021

By : Bloomberg