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Gold inches lower as Covid-19 vaccine optimism weighs on appeal

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Gold prices edged lower on Wednesday due to optimism over a potential Covid-19 vaccine, but concerns over the economic impact from the resurgence of coronavirus cases in the United States limited their decline.

[BENGALURU] Gold prices edged lower on Wednesday due to optimism over a potential Covid-19 vaccine, but concerns over the economic impact from the resurgence of coronavirus cases in the United States limited their decline.

Spot gold fell 0.1 per cent to US$1,877.39 per ounce by 3.44am GMT, while US gold futures were down 0.5 per cent at US$1,875.30.

Gold shed as much as 1.3 per cent on Monday after Moderna said its vaccine was 94.5 per cent effective in preventing Covid-19 in a late-stage trial.

"There is a lack of catalyst for gold prices to rally...Weighing on prices is a slight depressing of inflation expectations because it's quite clear now that the US fiscal stimulus will probably not be as sizeable as previously imagined," said IG Markets analyst Kyle Rodda.

The emphasis is now on the Federal Reserve to support the US economy through the surge in coronavirus, he added.

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Fed chair Jerome Powell said on Tuesday there is "a long way to go" for the economy to recover and that the central bank is committed to using all its tools to support the recovery for as long as required.

Highlighting the grim affect of the pandemic, data showed US retail sales rose less than expected in October and could slow down further amid declining household income as millions of unemployed Americans lose government financial support.

Gold, considered a hedge against inflation and currency debasement, has gained over 24 per cent this year, mainly benefiting from massive global stimulus.

A weak US dollar, intensifying pandemic and expectations of fresh US stimulus may restrict major downside in gold, said Hareesh V, head of commodity research at Geojit Financial Services.

However, a break of stiff support at US$1,840 could take gold prices lower to US$1780-US$1,750 or more, he added.

Silver fell 0.2 per cent to US$24.41 per ounce. Platinum was down 0.1 per cent at US$924.08, while palladium eased 0.2 per cent to US$2,312.53.

REUTERS

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