Gold seen as safe haven as new Covid-19 variant scares markets
However gold is heading for its worst week since August 6 on increased expectations that the US Fed could taper its asset purchases more quickly
Nakul IyerA worker loads 12,5kg gold ingots onto a trolley ready for distribution at the JSC Krastsvetmet non-ferrous metals plant in Krasnoyarsk, Russia. Picture: BLOOMBERG/ANDREY RUDAKOVBengaluru — Gold gained on Friday, as concerns over the spread of a newly identified coronavirus variant boosted the metal's safe-haven appeal, although bullion was set for a weekly drop on bets of US Federal Reserve turning more hawkish.
Spot gold rose 0.6% to $1,798.20/oz by 6.21am GMT. US gold futures advanced 0.8% to $1,798.30/oz.The variant spreading in SA may evade immune responses and has prompted Britain and a growing number of other countries to hurriedly introduce travel restrictions on the African nation.
Further aiding gold’s climb, the dollar index eased 0.2% from a 16-month peak scaled earlier this week, while US benchmark 10-year treasury yields also weakened.A weaker dollar reduces gold’s cost to buyers holding other currencies.But the metal was heading for its worst week since August 6 on increased expectations that the Fed could taper its asset purchases and raise interest rates at a faster pace. headtopics.com
“A rate hike cycle is generally negative for gold, but we have to keep an eye on this new Covid-19 variant — if it spreads to the US, that could weaken growth and I can’t see the Fed hiking rates in that environment,” said Stephen Innes, managing partner at SPI Asset Management.
Reduced stimulus and interest rate hikes tend to push government bond yields up, raising the opportunity cost of non-interest bearing gold.Michael Langford, director at corporate advisory AirGuide, expects gold to decline further on higher chances of the Fed's sticking to its tapering timeline.
“The Fed is unlikely to alter its taper timeline as monetary policies are closely intertwined with the government’s public sentiment that any change would be negative for their next election prospects, limiting gold's decline.”Spot silver was steady at $23.57/oz. Platinum fell 1.2% to $983.22/oz, while palladium rose 0.8% to $1,874.60/oz.Read more: Business Day »
COVID-19 LIVE UPDATES | Another Covid Christmas on the cards as new variant explodes in SACoronavirus updates.
‘Eye-poking’ cult cause of Covid-19 outbreak in South KoreaMany of the congregation are older than 60 and unvaccinated — just 17 out of the 241 confirmed cases were vaccinated
Slow Covid-19 vaccine uptake means SA has to halt ordersThe health department’s Nicholas Crisp says SA had 16.8-million doses in stock and so deliveries have been deferred
‘Eye-poking’ cult cause of Covid-19 outbreak in South KoreaMany of the congregation are older than 60 and unvaccinated — just 17 out of the 241 confirmed cases were vaccinated That's some silly write up. Are u guys so financially enslaved as not to say that S. Korea with more than 80% vaccinated is back to full infection due to the inefficay of the vaccines? Show proof of any1 who has isolated this virus to warrant a vaccine. Why blame a pastor? Sies We need 2 improve the efficacy of this vaccines by acknowledging their shortcomings to further research. Diversion won't help the world overcome this mess. The current vaccines are still on trials, not silver bullets to a virus that has never been isolated or cultured.
INFOGRAPHIC: 20 countries with high COVID-19 cases, deaths in the past week
Mining body says over 300,000 partial and full Covid-19 vaccines have been givenMinerals Council SA is urging staff to ensure they and their communities are immunised in anticipation of a fourth wave