Gold slips on vaccine optimism as equities rally. Early Wednesday hope over a coronavirus vaccine gave investors some risk appetite.
Prices of the yellow metal reached the highest level in almost two weeks on Tuesday on speculation of a U.S. stimulus. Stimulus efforts are considered bullish for gold because the precious metal is a hedge against the inflation such actions can trigger.
Front-month gold futures rose 0.5% Tuesday to settle at $1,874.90 an ounce on Comex. The February contract gained 1.9% in the first two days of the week. Gold is up more than $350 — or 23% — so far this year as investors have flocked to the metal because of uncertainty from the coronavirus pandemic and the economy. The February contract is currently down $16.00 an ounce to $18.58.90 an ounce and the DG spot price is $1,850.30.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration will meet Thursday to decide whether to grant emergency approval to the Pfizer vaccine, the first of the vaccines to come under review by U.S. regulators. But the U.S. plan to vaccinate most Americans by next summer will depend on the approvals — likely in early 2021 — of vaccines from AstraZeneca Plc and Johnson & Johnson, Bloomberg reported.
The chief scientist of Operation Warp Speed, Moncef Slaoui, said Tuesday that AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson would together provide 150 million to 200 million vaccinations in the first quarter that could immunize 110 million to 150 million people. Doses for another 100 million are expected from Pfizer and Moderna.
The COVID-19 virus has killed almost 1.56 million people worldwide and sickened more than 68.2 million. About 22% of the cases — and 18% of the deaths — are in the U.S. The country has almost 15.2 million cases, more than any other nation.
As bipartisan talks in Congress escalated over a stimulus measure, the White House offered a $916 billion proposal that would also cut off jobless benefits. The lawmakers had been working to hammer out a $908 billion compromise plan, and it was unclear whether the proposal floated by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin would derail that effort.
The urgency of a stimulus agreement has become clear as the November jobless rate was worse than economists forecast in data released last week. Investors are awaiting the new round of weekly initial jobless claims on Thursday for more information about how the labor market is doing. Key inflation data for November is also due out on Thursday, with consumer sentiment on Friday.
Front-month silver futures slipped 0.2% Tuesday to settle at $24.74 an ounce on Comex, though the March contract gained 2% in the first two days of the week. The most active contract dropped 4.5% in November. The March contract is currently $24.360 an ounce and the DG spot price is $24.18.
Spot palladium fell 1% Tuesday to $2,332.50 an ounce and is down 1.7% so far this week. It advanced 8.3% in November. Spot platinum dropped 1% Tuesday to $1,033.10 an ounce and is down 3.2% this week. It rose 14% in November. The DG spot price for palladium is currently off $8.40 an ounce to $2,329.50 and platinum is down $4.00 an ounce to $1,029.00.
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