Gold Up as Omicron Concerns Linger

Gold was up on Thursday morning in Asia, but kept below the $1,800 mark after the

Gold was up on Tuesday morning in Asia, with investors remaining cautious about the omicron COVID-19 variant’s impact on the global economic recovery.

Gold futures were up 0.29% to $1,790.30 by 10:24 PM ET (3:24 AM GMT).

Omicron has already prompted some countries to close their borders and cast a shadow on the economic recovery.

U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said on Monday that he still expects inflation to recede over 2022 as supply and demand come into better balance. However, he added that the “recent rise in COVID-19 cases and the emergence of the omicron variant pose downside risks to employment and economic activity and increased uncertainty for inflation.”

Powell, alongside U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, will testify at a Senate Banking Committee hearing later in the day and the House Financial Services Committee a day later.

Across the Atlantic the European Central Bank attempted to assuage investor concerns over omicron on Monday, saying that the euro zone’s economy had learned to cope with successive waves of COVID-19.

In Asia Pacific, data released earlier in the day showed that China’s manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI) was at 50.1, while the non-manufacturing PMI was at 52.3, in November. In Japan, October’s employment data showed that the jobs/application ratio was at 1.15 and the unemployment rate was down to 2.7%. Industrial production also grew 1.1% month-on-month.

In other precious metals, silver was steady at $22.88 an ounce while platinum and palladium were up 0.4%. Russia’s Nornickel, the biggest producer of palladium globally, raised its 2021-2030 investment estimate to $35 billion. This enables Nornickel to upgrade its production infrastructure and raise its long-term outlook for PGM output.