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Gold prices surged above $ 1,800 an ounce on Monday after the US dollar fell from multi-month highs, while investor fears that the Delta coronavirus variant could slow the pace of global economic recovery also boosted bullion's appeal as a safe haven.

Spot gold was up 0.5% to $ 1801.63 an ounce by 11:30 am EDT, the highest in more than two weeks. US gold futures jumped 1.2% to trade in New York at $ 1805.30 an ounce.

Meanwhile, the dollar index was down 0.4%, falling from a 9-1 / 2-month high last week, making gold more attractive to holders of other currencies.

"The Delta variant is throwing sort of a wrench into the works on how likely and how soon we could see an announcement of changes in tapering," Warren Patterson, ING analyst, told Reuters on Monday.

Dallas Federal Reserve President Robert Kaplan, a staunch supporter of tapering stimulus, said Friday that he may have to adjust that view if the "Delta" significantly slows economic growth.

Another clear signal of the impact of the Delta variant on the Fed's plans is that COVID-19 restrictions induced the US central bank to schedule its annual economic symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming on August 27 virtually, not in person, as planned.

Chairman Jerome Powell is expected to speak at the event on the economic outlook.

"I don't think Powell will give a clear timeline for withdrawal of stimulus measures. Thus, the dollar will fall and the price of gold could exceed $ 1,800," predicted Jigar Trivedi, commodities analyst at Anand Rathi Shares in Mumbai.

Highlighting the impact of the recent surge in infections, growth in manufacturing activity in Japan slowed in August, while in the services sector it contracted at the fastest pace since May last year.