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Markets

Gold eases, hovers above $1,800 on virus fears, easing taper concerns

  • Spot gold eased 0.1% to $1,803.53 per ounce by 0650 GMT, after jumping about 1.4% on Monday
24 Aug, 2021

Gold prices eased on Tuesday but hovered above the key psychological level of $1,800, as the rising threat from increasing Delta coronavirus variant cases fanned expectations that the US Federal Reserve might delay easing its accommodative stance.

Spot gold eased 0.1% to $1,803.53 per ounce by 0650 GMT, after jumping about 1.4% on Monday.

US gold futures were flat at $1,806.30.

Gold rises above $1,800 as dollar dips on doubts Fed will taper soon

The dollar index was steady after falling about 0.6% on Monday.

The fact that gold again breached $1,800 level says that the market is still quite concerned about the Delta variant, OCBC Bank economist Howie Lee said.

IHS Markit data showed US business activity growth slowed for a third straight month in August, with the fast spreading Delta variant weakening the momentum of the rebound.

Investors are now focused on Fed Chair Jerome Powell's speech at the annual Jackson Hole, Wyoming, symposium as they await guidance on the central bank's taper plans.

Jackson Hole is likely to be a non-event, anything else would be a bonus, Lee said, adding that "if the bonus is on the dovish side then we will see gold prices pick up probably back to the $1,850 level."

Easing worries of an imminent tapering buoyed Asian shares on Tuesday.

"The $1,850 level is everything for gold and if after the Jackson Hole Symposium, prices can't make a fresh August high, bullion investors might be quick to the sidelines," Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA, said in a note.

Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, fell 0.5% to 1,006.66 tonnes on Monday, their lowest since April 2020.

Silver fell 0.3% to $23.59 per ounce, while platinum rose 0.2% to $1,015.41.

Palladium gained 0.4% to $2,410.42. Prices climbed 5.5% in the previous session, the biggest one-day gain since May 2020.

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