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Gold held the first weekly gain since mid-November as investors weighed concerns over the spread of the omicron virus variant against tightening monetary policy. 

Lockdowns in the U.S. will likely not be necessary even as Covid-19 cases increase, although many hospitals may be strained, especially in regions with lower levels of vaccination, according to President Joe Biden’s top medical adviser, Anthony Fauci. In other parts of the world, the Netherlands returned to lockdown, while U.K. Health Secretary Sajid Javid refused to rule out stronger measures before Christmas.

Bullion capped a weekly gain Friday as the omicron variant clouded the outlook for a global recovery, but prices are still on track for the first annual loss in three years as central banks reduce pandemic-era stimulus to fight inflation. 

The Bank of England last week unexpectedly raised interest rates for the first time in three years, while the Federal Reserve said it will double the pace of tapering while projecting a series of rate increases in coming years. Fed Governor Christopher Waller said a faster wind-down of the U.S. central bank’s bond-buying program positions it to start raising rates as early as March.

Spot gold rose 0.2% to $1,801.46 an ounce by 8:51 a.m. in Singapore, after climbing 0.9% last week. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was flat after advancing 0.6% Friday. Silver steadied, while platinum and palladium dropped. 

 

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.

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