Gold markets: Coronavirus pandemic in focus

Several gold bars are shown being held in a hand.

Akos Stiller | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Gold prices edged lower on Tuesday, weighed down by a stronger U.S. dollar and as hopes for coronavirus treatments lifted risk sentiment.

Spot gold was down 0.2% to $1,929.25 per ounce by 0036 GMT.

U.S. gold futures eased 0.2% to $1,934.10.

The dollar index held firm near a more than one-week high hit last week, making gold more expensive for holders of other currencies.

Asia’s stock markets opened higher following a Wall Street rally driven by coronavirus vaccine hopes.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized the use of blood plasma from recovered Covid-19 patients as a treatment option.

However, the World Health Organization was cautious about endorsing the use of recovered Covid-19 patients’ plasma to treat those who are ill, saying evidence that it works remains “low quality.”

Investors now await U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s speech at Jackson Hole on Thursday for clarity on the direction of U.S. monetary policy.

The Fed has rolled out a wave of fiscal and monetary stimulus measures and cut interest rates to near zero to mitigate the economic damage caused by the pandemic, helping gold rise 28% so far this year.

More than 23.57 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 809,569 have died, according to a Reuters tally.

Meanwhile, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spoke with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He on Monday, the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office said.

Silver gained 0.3% to $26.62 per ounce, platinum rose 0.8% to $923.10, and palladium climbed 1% to $2,182.59.

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