Gold eased on Monday as AstraZeneca injected fresh optimism into the race for a COVID-19 vaccine, bolstering appetite for riskier assets and overshadowing support for bullion from a weaker dollar.
Spot gold edged 0.1pc lower to $1,868.26 per ounce by 0952 GMT and U.S. gold futures fell 0.3pc to $1,866.80.
Britain’s AstraZeneca said its vaccine could be around 90pc effective without any serious side effects.
“The fact that we have three vaccine results that are extremely positive is keeping gold under pressure in the near term and also stopping it from any kind of significant rebound,” said OANDA analyst Craig Erlam.
The positive vaccine developments prompted investors to bet on a quicker global economic recovery, driving equities higher.
But bullion’s losses were capped by a weaker U.S. dollar, which made gold an attractive bet for those holding other currencies.
“The expectation now is that there’s an extremely strong chance that the ECB and Fed announce more stimulus measures in December in order to support these markets at a time when the COVID spread is getting quite severe and we’re seeing lockdown restrictions,” OANDA’s Erlam said.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Friday reassured markets that the U.S. Federal Reserve and Treasury had many tools left to support the economy, after deciding to de-fund several lending programs by year-end.
Non-yielding gold is often seen as a hedge against inflation that is likely to result from the unprecedented stimulus measures adopted globally this year.
“The vaccine is not going to change the fundamentals of gold in near term … It’s going to take a lot of time for vaccines to penetrate the global market,” said Kunal Shah, head of research at Nirmal Bang Commodities in Mumbai, India.
Silver fell 0.3pc to $24.07 an ounce, while platinum rose 0.4pc to $949.31 and palladium was 0.2pc higher at $2,331.31.