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Gold Slides Amid Market Optimism Over AstraZeneca’s Coronavirus Vaccine

November 23, 2020 at 15:00 by Andrew Moran

Gold futures are sliding to kick off the trading week as the latest announcement on the coronavirus vaccine front diminished the precious metals’ appeal. Although the US dollar continued its weakness on Monday, gold prices failed to generate momentum heading into the holiday-shortened trading week. Has the gold rally fizzled out, or has it hit the pause button?

December gold futures tumbled $8.00, or 0.43%, to $1,864.40 per ounce at 13:38 GMT on Monday on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The yellow metal is coming off a weekly loss of more than 1%, paring its year-to-date gain to below 23%.

Silver, the sister commodity to gold, is retesting $24 as its safe-haven attraction erodes. January silver futures fell $0.298, or 1.22%, to $24.065 per ounce. The white metal also endured a 3% drop last week, reducing its 2020 rally to below 35%.

The bullion buying has likely subsided after AstraZeneca, the British pharmaceutical giant, announced a COVID-19 vaccine with a 70% efficacy rate. The company, which collaborated with the University of Oxford, stated that an interim analysis of 131 clinical trials and more than 23,000 volunteers led to a conclusion that the inoculation is mostly positive in the fight against the highly infectious respiratory illness.

One of the most important findings from the research was that were no hospitalizations or severe cases of the disease when participants were given the vaccine.

This is the third major vaccine to be announced this month, following the confirmations from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. But while this is considered a positive development, the biggest hurdle will be logistics and distribution, which might explain why the leading stock benchmark indexes are not exploding on AstraZeneca’s announcement.

Still, the news triggered modest gains in the equities arena. The US dollar, meanwhile, extended its weakness to kick off the trading week. The US Dollar Index, which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, declined 0.32% to 92.10, from an opening of 92.37. A lower buck is good for commodities priced in dollars because it makes it cheaper for foreign investors to purchase. The index is down 4.5% year-to-date.

It will be a relatively quiet trading week ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday.

But gold prices could find support on the likelihood that the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank (ECB) will unleash additional monetary support measures. Since the US and Europe are experiencing a second wave of the coronavirus, leading to various restrictions and lockdowns, policymakers might execute more stimulus and relief tactics to cushion the economic blows.

Gold markets were also optimistic when Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin stated that both the US government and the US central had many tools left to support the economy now and during the recovery phase. Mnuchin also reassured markets that Republicans and Democrats were negotiating another coronavirus package.

In other metal markets, January copper futures slipped $0.0215, or 0.65%, to $3.2695 per pound. January platinum futures dropped $6.60, or 0.69%, to $950.60 an ounce. January palladium futures tacked on $18.10, or 0.78%, to $2,341.39 per ounce.

If you have any questions and comments on commodities today, use the form below to reply.

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