Gold prices retreat from Omicron spike
US retail data adds to boost for risk appetite but movement is slow
Bengaluru — Gold prices slipped from a one-week high in thin trading on Tuesday, as easing concerns over the Omicron coronavirus variant and strong US retail sales data boosted risk appetite.
Spot gold was down 0.1% at $1,808.91/oz by 0328 GMT, after having hit its highest since December 17 on Monday, while US gold futures were up 0.1% at $1,810.
“There’s lack of participation. So, any little nugget of cross-market correlation is going to make markets move,” said Stephen Innes, managing partner at SPI Asset Management.
“What the crux of the argument will be, and probably limit gold's upside momentum, is real rates, which could rise as the economy recovers from this little slip they’ve had on Omicron.”
Asian shares gained, cruising in the slipstream of another record-setting day on Wall Street amid strong retail figures, while the safe-haven yen lost ground as traders stayed in riskier currencies and asset classes such as equities.
Crude oil prices gained ground on expectations the Omicron variant would have only a limited effect on global demand.
The US dollar, also viewed as a safe haven, languished near the bottom end of its recent trading range versus a basket of peers, maintaining the greenback-priced gold’s appeal for holders of non-US currencies, and limiting losses.
The two-year Treasury yield, which is very sensitive to interest rate expectations, leapt to the highest in almost 22 months in Tokyo, increasing the opportunity cost of holding bullion, which pays no interest.
Meanwhile, Japan’s jobless rate rose to 2.8% in November, while the availability of jobs matched that of the previous month, government data showed.
Spot silver fell 0.3% to $22.98/oz, platinum was down 0.5% to $966.02, and palladium dropped 0.9% to $1,953.97.
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