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Gold jewellery at a gold souk. Picture: BLOOMBERG/CHRISTOPHER PIKE
Gold jewellery at a gold souk. Picture: BLOOMBERG/CHRISTOPHER PIKE

Bengaluru — Gold prices hovered above the key psychological level of $1,800 on Tuesday, as the looming threat from the Delta coronavirus variant fanned expectations that the US Federal Reserve might delay dialling back its pandemic-era stimulus.

Spot gold eased 0.2% to $1,801.65 an ounce by 3.21am GMT, having jumped about 1.4% in the previous session. US gold futures were down 0.1% at $1,804.10.

The dollar index was steady after falling about 0.6% on Monday.

That gold again breached $1,800 level says that the market is still concerned about the Delta variant, OCBC Bank economist Howie Lee said.

IHS Markit data showed US business activity growth slowed for a third straight month in August, with the fast-spreading Delta variant weakening the momentum of the rebound.

Investors are focused on Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell’s speech at the annual Jackson Hole, Wyoming, symposium as they await guidance on the central bank’s taper plans.

Jackson Hole is likely to be a non-event, anything else would be a bonus, Lee said, adding “if the bonus is on the dovish side then we will see gold prices pick up probably back to the $1,850 level”.

Easing worries of an imminent tapering helped buoy the Asian shares on Tuesday.

“The $1,850 level is everything for gold and if after the Jackson Hole Symposium, prices can’t make a fresh August high, bullion investors might be quick to the sidelines,” Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda said in a note.

Meanwhile, holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, fell 0.5% to 1,006.66 tonnes on Monday, their lowest since April 2020.

Silver fell 0.4% to $23.56 an ounce, while platinum edged 0.2% lower to $1,011.66.

Palladium was up 0.2% at $2,403.76. Prices climbed 5.5% in the previous session, the biggest one-day gain since May 2020. 



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