U.K.’s flash PMI indices indicate decline in business activity in November, composite index falls to 47.4
Gold eases as greenback gains amid U.S.-China tensions
Gold prices slumped below the key $1,800 level, as the U.S. dollar strengthened, although worries over surging coronavirus cases globally and U.S.-China tensions limited losses.
Spot gold was trading 0.1 percent down at $1,799.78 per ounce by 0754 GMT, having hit a high of $1,818.09 on Wednesday, its highest since September 2011. U.S. gold futures fell 0.8 percent to $1,799.55.
On Monday, the World Health Organization warned that the COVID-19 pandemic will worsen if countries fail to adhere to strict healthcare precautions, as coronavirus cases globally passed 13 million.
California rollbacks reopening after Governor Gavin Newsom ordered bars closed and restaurants and movie theatres to cease indoor operations, while Canada and the United States are likely to extend bans on non-essential travel imposed to control the outbreak.
Moreover, renewed concerns about diplomatic tension between the United States and China further dented risk appetite, limiting the bullions downside. A senior U.S. State Department official stated that U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration plans on scraping a 2013 agreement between U.S. and Chinese auditing authorities that could foreshadow a broader crackdown on U.S.-listed Chinese firms.
On Monday, the United States rejected China's territorial claims in the South China Sea, which claimed Washington was trying to flare tensions in the disputed waters. In response, China accused the U.S. of inflaming the situation. In addition, the United States is taking steps to end Hong Kong’s special legal status in protest against Beijing’s security law for the former British colony.
The greenback against a basket of currencies traded 0.1 percent higher at 96.64, having touched a low of 96.24 on Thursday, its lowest since June 11. The U.S. Treasury yields edged higher, with the benchmark 10-year note yield trading at 0.622 percent.
Investors now await data due later this week on Chinese gross domestic product (GDP), retail sales and industrial output, and U.S. consumer price index, retail sales, unemployment benefit claims, and Michigan consumer sentiment index for signs of economic recovery.