Gold Up, But Near Two-Month Lows Over Strengthening Dollar, COVID Recovery Hopes

Gold was up on Thursday morning in Asia, but hovered close to its lowest level in more than two months as the dollar strengthened and progress in the global economic recovery from COVID-19 dampened demand for the safe-haven yellow metal.

Gold futures were up 0.54% at $1,782.40 by 11:21 PM ET (4:21 AM GMT). Silver held steady, while platinum and palladium gained. Meanwhile, the dollar inched up on Thursday.

Positive U.S. data released overnight helped bullion to cap a fifth consecutive day of losses on Wednesday. Core retail sales grew 5.9% month-on-month in January, compared to the 1% growth in forecasts prepared by and the 1.8% fall recorded in December.

The data also showed that the Producer Price Index grew 1.3% month-on-month in January, higher than the forecast 0.4% growth and December’s 0.3% growth. Retail sales grew 5.3% month-on-month in January, against the forecast 1.1% growth and December’s 1% fall.

On the central bank front, the U.S. Federal Reserve released the minutes from its January policy meeting on Wednesday. The minutes indicated that the central bank is willing to continue its accommodative monetary policy to boost the U.S. economic recovery, with officials saying that the conditions for reducing their massive asset-purchase program will not be met for “some time.”

However, gold has dropped more than 6% in 2021 after recording its biggest annual gain in ten years in 2020 thanks to progress on COVID-19 vaccination programs and the prospect of more U.S. stimulus.

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