LONDON: Gold prices edged lower in thin trade on Monday as the US dollar rebounded, though bullion was still hovering close to a one-week high as concerns over the Omicron coronavirus variant increased safe-haven demand.
Spot gold fell 0.1% to $1,806.60 an ounce by 1012 GMT but remained above the reached $1,800 last week. US gold futures slipped 0.2% to $1,807.40.
“While there is a firmer US dollar, there isn’t a lot of movement in gold today,” said Quantitative Commodity Research analyst Peter Fertig, adding that one of the main reasons for the lack of liquidity is closed markets over Christmas.
Slightly higher yields increase the opportunity cost for holding gold, which is weighing a little on gold prices, Fertig added.
Global equities steadied and oil prices eased on concerns that the Omicron variant could slow the economy in the new year.
“Gold faces resistance just above $1,815 ... it will continue to struggle to hold on to gains at these levels unless the US dollar moves sharply lower this week,” said Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst at OANDA.
The dollar index rose from its weakest level in nearly a week, making greenback-priced gold less attractive for holders of non-US currencies.
Although quiet overall this week, “the low liquidity makes headline sensitivity more pronounced, as the thin markets are likely to make for more jittery price action if something were to happen”, said DailyFX currency strategist Ilya Spivak.
Silver retreated by 1% to $22.71 an ounce while platinum slid 1.5% to $960.00.
Palladium eased by 0.3% to $1,943.45 after touching its highest since Nov. 23 at $1,962.50.