Gold price on track for worst month since 2016

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Gold prices extended their decline below $1,800/oz on Monday as growing optimism for an end to the pandemic continues to direct investors towards riskier assets, casting shadow over safe havens like bullion.

Spot gold dropped 0.5% to $1,781.30 per ounce to 11:40 a.m. EST, on course for its worst month in four years. US gold futures traded 0.2% lower at $1,783.40 per ounce in New York.

The latest boost for risk appetite came over the weekend, when top US health officials said a vaccine will probably be deployed across the nation before the end of the year. Elsewhere, an index of China’s manufacturing sector rose to a three-year high on Monday, which further raised the risk sentiment.

Gold has declined nearly 15% from its record high set earlier in August

“The news of vaccines has led to a lot of optimism in the market and we are seeing some outflows in safe-haven assets like the dollar, treasuries and the same is being reflected in gold prices,” OANDA analyst Craig Erlam said in a Reuters interview.

Meanwhile, a potential vaccine-induced economic recovery has put global stocks on track for their best month on record.

“Investors have moved to other assets, seeking faster gains, although they haven’t forgotten that central banks will be forced to print money for many years to help the economy to recover from the covid-19 crisis,” ActivTrades chief analyst Carlo Alberto De Casa said in a note.

Bullion is suffering as investors reverse this year’s hunt for havens amid deep economic uncertainties and a fractious US general election. The metal has declined nearly 15% from its record high set earlier in August.

But analysts believe other factors that favor gold — including an ultra-dovish monetary policy and the risk of steeper inflation — remain in place.

“The current weakness of gold is all the more remarkable given that the US dollar is likewise weak,” Carsten Fritsch, an analyst at Commerzbank AG, said in an emailed note.

“After the price fell below the support level at $1,800 on Friday, the technical picture became even more gloomy, which no doubt has prompted further short-term-oriented investors to withdraw.”

(With files from Bloomberg and Reuters)

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