Picture: REUTERS
Picture: REUTERS

Bengaluru — Gold ticked higher on Tuesday as Asian stocks slipped on political ferment in Washington and a global surge in coronavirus cases, though a firmer dollar and higher US Treasury yields limited gains.

Spot gold rose 0.2% at $1,847.96 an ounce by 2.35am GMT, after touching its lowest since December 2 in the previous session.

US gold futures eased 0.2% to $1,847.30. Asian stocks mostly traded lower as Democrats in the US House of Representatives barrelled towards impeaching US President Donald Trump in the wake of the Capitol siege last week.

“The macro picture is still positive for gold, so the market appears to be in dip-buying mode, but cautious about the scale of the dips,” said Nicholas Frappell, global general manager at ABC Bullion. “Short-term gold is still vulnerable to US dollar sentiment and yields, but gold is finding some support around the $1,830 level and it may use that as a base to consolidate and push higher from.”

Benchmark 10-year Treasury yields held firm at 10-month highs as investors adjusted for higher government spending, helping the dollar firm and making gold expensive. Higher bond yields increase the opportunity cost of holding the non-interest yielding gold.

Global coronavirus infections stood at more than 90-million as countries struggle with the pace of vaccinations.

“Gold looks underpriced at current levels. The new (virus) strain reminds us that 2021 may not be materially different from 2020 if the world doesn’t get the vaccine fast enough,” said Howie Lee, an economist at OCBC Bank.

The Federal Reserve will be cautious about the timeline of tapering, Lee said, even as money markets have increased bets it would start unwinding its asset-purchase programme by the end of the year.

Silver gained 0.8% to $25.11 an ounce. Platinum rose 2.3% to $1,055.23, while palladium climbed 0.3% to $2,378.25.


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