Gold dips as vaccine hopes, strong US data signal recovery

Gold prices eased in early Asian trade on Tuesday as COVID-19 vaccine developments and upbeat U.S. manufacturing data bolstered investors’ hopes of a swift economic recovery.

Spot gold fell 0.1% to $ 1,834.40 per ounce by 0105 GMT. It fell as much as 2.2% on Monday, hitting a four-month trough.

U.S. gold futures were down 0.3% at $ 1,833.00.

AstraZeneca ‘s COVID-19 vaccine, likely to be cheaper to make, easier to distribute and faster to scale-up than rivals, could be up to 90% effective, while U.S. officials prepared to begin inoculating Americans by mid-December.

U.S. business activity expanded at the fastest rate in more than five years in November led by the quickest pickup in manufacturing since September 2014, fuelling optimism of a swift recovery.

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden is expected to tap former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen as U.S. Treasury Secretary, a move welcomed by investors who tout her experience at the central bank as critical in the effort to revive the pandemic-hit economy.

Biden on Monday was formally given the go-ahead by a federal agency to begin his transition to the White House, shortly after the battleground state of Michigan certified him as the winner there.

Holdings of the SPDR Gold Trust , the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 0.6% to 1,213.17 tonnes on Monday from 1,220.17 tonnes on Friday.

JPMorgan has earned record revenue of around $ 1 billion so far this year from trading, storing and financing precious metals, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Silver dropped 0.1% to $ 23.55 an ounce. Platinum rose 0.8% to $ 933.78, while palladium dipped 0.1% to $ 2,352.15.