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Gold Struggles for Direction in Choppy Trading Amid Vaccine News, Market Selloff

November 30, 2020 at 18:14 by Andrew Moran

Gold futures are struggling for direction during the final trading session of November, experiencing a bout of choppy trading. The yellow metal remains below the key $1,800 threshold amid positive coronavirus vaccine news and a selloff in the broader financial markets. With more certainty and confidence driving the equities arena in December, will gold’s rally come to a screeching halt?

January gold futures tumbled $6.00, or 0.34%, to $1,782.10 per ounce at 16:42 GMT on Monday on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gold prices suffered a weekly loss of nearly 3%, adding their November decline of close to 6%. Year-to-date, gold is up now just 17%.3%.

Silver, the sister commodity to gold, is now trading relatively flat after cratering below $22 in the Asian trade. February silver futures dipped $0.009, or 0.04%, to $22.63 an ounce. The white metal slumped 4% last week, raising its monthly drop to 6.3%. So far this year, prices are still up more than 26%.

The precious metals initially fell after Moderna provided the latest news on its COVID-19 inoculation. The company confirmed that its experimental vaccine showed a 94.1% effective rate. The firm now plans to submit for emergency-use authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as early as Monday. The remedy could then be made available to front-line workers as early as mid-December.

Pfizer and AstraZeneca have also announced coronavirus vaccines with high efficacy rates. These developments have weighed on both the metals market and the US dollar. A weaker buck is typically positive for dollar-denominated commodities because it makes it cheaper for foreign investors to purchase, but with safe-haven demand waning, both assets are taking a hit and recording their worst monthly performances since 2016.

The US Dollar Index, which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, rose 0.06% to 91.85. The index is coming off a weekly slide of 0.7% and is on track for a November slump of 2.4%. Year-to-date, the DXY is down about 4.8%.

But some market analysts believe gold’s latest descent may have already hit a peak, mainly because of a weakening currency. Plus, inflation concerns from fiscal and monetary stimulus and relief continue to support gold prices heading into 2021. Are these fears enough to let gold retest $2,000?

George Gero, managing director at RBC Wealth Management, told CNBC:

They (investors) are abandoning gold because they feel that the vaccine is going to open up the markets at some point and it looks like the transition is going to be orderly. It is going to be a long road ahead for gold because there does not seem to be any need for the haven at this time.

In other metal markets, March copper futures tacked on $0.0195, or 0.59%, to $3.4195 per pound. January platinum futures added $13.90, or 1.44%, to $978.70 an ounce. January palladium futures shed $34.10, or 1.4%, to $2,405.60 per ounce.

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