Gold gains as tepid dollar, virus-induced curbs lift appeal

Gold prices edged higher on Monday, propped up by a softer dollar while fresh coronavirus-induced curbs globally dented hopes of a swift economic recovery, with investor focus on speeches by Federal Reserve policymakers due this week.

FUNDAMENTALS
Spot gold rose 0.3% to $ 1,954.65 per ounce by 0118 GMT.

U.S. gold futures inched 0.1% lower to $ 1,959.90.

The dollar index was down 0.1% against its rivals, making gold more attractive for buyers holding other currencies.

Fed policymakers on Friday began fleshing out what their new tolerance for inflation will mean in practice, an issue critical to how investors and households reshape their own outlooks even if it may not be relevant to any immediate decisions by the U.S. central bank.

Investors are now looking forward to clues on Fed’s monetary policy as a slew of policymakers are due to make public speeches, including Chairman Jerome Powell, who will appear before Congressional committees later this week.

The resurgence in COVID-19 infections across the world in recent months has forced authorities to gradually reimpose bans including the mandatory use of masks in all closed public and private spaces.

Britain’s health minister Matt Hancock said on Sunday a second national lockdown could be imposed if people don’t follow government rules designed to stop the spread of the coronavirus, while some European cities announced new restrictions to curb surging infections.

Gold speculators raised their net long position by 10,622 contracts to 165,251 in the week ended Sept. 15.

Holdings in SPDR Gold Trust , the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose 1.03% to 1,259.84 tonnes on Friday.

Gold jewelers in India pinned hopes on an upcoming festive season, with dealers offering discounts for a fifth straight week to lure customers back to shops, as activity remained muted in Asian bullion hubs.

Silver gained 0.6% to $ 26.92 per ounce, platinum was up 1.3% to $ 939.75 and palladium was 0.8% to $ 2,374.93.