Gold prices went on a rollercoaster ride on Wednesday, sinking below the $1,900/oz mark earlier in the session before overturning those losses later.
By 11:30 a.m. EDT, spot gold rebounded from an intraday low of $1,866.40/oz and advanced 1.4% to $1,938.42/oz. US gold futures were up 0.2% to $1,950.90/oz in New York.
Gold’s headline-setting rally over recent weeks has been engulfed by volatility as investors reassess the merits of one of the hottest pandemic-driven trades of the year.
As one of the best-performing commodities of 2020, bullion has risen by more than 30% this year for its reputable role as an safe-haven asset during times of economic uncertainty.
After setting a record above $2,000/oz last week, the rally has come to a sudden halt as US bond yields rose, eroding the haven’s appeal. On Tuesday, the precious metal dropped by a staggering 5.7% — the biggest one-day loss in seven years.
Benchmark Treasury yields have climbed more than 10 basis points so far this month amid improving risk appetite and an imminent flood of debt issuance.
The recent rebound in yields also reflects investor hopes that the coronavirus outbreak will be contained after Russia’s covid-19 vaccine announcement, according to Standard Chartered Plc.
Despite the recent lapse in gold’s record-breaking run, there is no shortage of supporters who are optimistic of an extended rally in prices.
“We can expect yields to rise further on expectations of a US aid package, which may pressure prices for the short term,” Tapan Patel, a senior analyst at HDFC Securities Ltd., told Bloomberg.
“Higher US health care costs and the expansion of balance sheets will continue to support gold prices over the longer term,” he said.
Once gold “got to $2,000 per ounce, in a lot of investors’ minds that could have been an opportunity to take profit,” said Gavin Wendt, senior resource analyst at MineLife Pty.
News about Russia’s coronavirus vaccine “was a cue for some investors to take profit from their gold positions and to leap back into equities.”
(With files from Bloomberg)