Gold prices ease as vaccine hopes offset worries about second coronavirus wave
Gold prices edged lower as optimism over positive developments around a second possible COVID-19 vaccine offset investor concerns over spiking coronavirus cases globally.
Spot gold traded down at $1,888.18 per ounce by 0650 GMT, having hit a high of $1899.11 on Monday, its highest since November 9. U.S. gold futures were down 0.1 percent at $1,886.25.
The safe-haven metal declined as much as 1.3 percent on Monday after drugmaker Moderna said its experimental vaccine was 94.5 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 based on interim data from a late-stage trial, becoming the second U.S. drugmaker after Pfizer to report results exceeding expectations.
However, a return of coronavirus restrictions in some U.S. states and worries about a smooth transition for President-elect Joe Biden supported the precious metal.
The dollar index slumped to a 1-week low amid uncertainty about Biden's plans to tackle the coronavirus and stimulate the economy as the Trump administration resists cooperation with Biden's transition team.
Risk sentiment slightly eased as the United States struggles to contain a second wave of infections, and with vaccine distribution not expected any time soon. Biden called on Congress to come together and pass a new coronavirus relief package, while new restrictions were placed in several U.S. states to limit a surge in cases.
The greenback against a basket of currencies traded 0.1 percent down at 92.51, having touched a low of 92.45 earlier, its lowest since November 9. The U.S. Treasury yields rose, with the benchmark 10-year note yield trading at 0.910 percent and the 30-year yield at 1.664 percent.
Investors now await the release of U.S. retail sales and industrial production later in the day to gauge the health of the economic recovery.