Gold falls as vaccine hopes, Biden transition aid recovery bets

Spot gold fell 0.6% to $1,824.91 per ounce

  
Gold bars at the Austrian Gold and Silver Separating Plant 'Oegussa' in Vienna, Austria, March 18, 2016. Image used for illustrative purposes.

Gold bars at the Austrian Gold and Silver Separating Plant 'Oegussa' in Vienna, Austria, March 18, 2016. Image used for illustrative purposes.

REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

Gold slipped on Tuesday as progress on a COVID-19 vaccine and a federal agency's approval of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden's transition to the White House bolstered risk appetite, denting the bullion's safe-haven appeal.

Spot gold fell 0.6% to $1,824.91 per ounce by 0332 GMT. It fell as much as 2.2% on Monday to hit a four-month low.

U.S. gold futures were down 0.8% at $1,823.90.

"The number of vaccines coming out is giving the market confidence that in six months time, things are going to be better than what they are... the (gold) price is coming off as a result," said Michael Langford, executive director at corporate advisory and consultancy firm AirGuide.

Asian equities traded higher after AstraZeneca said on Monday its COVID-19 vaccine could be up to 90% effective. 

Biden on Monday was formally given the go-ahead by a federal agency to begin his transition to the White House, while U.S. President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter that he was recommending his team to "do what needs to be done with regard to initial protocols". 

"The fact that we have a smoother transition between President elect Biden and Trump is just another reason to think that the recovery as it is currently playing out has one less risk to it," said IG Markets analyst Kyle Rodda.

The breakdown of support around $1,840 suggests further downside into the $1,700s before buyers return, he added.

But analysts noted the likely appointment of former Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen as U.S. Treasury Secretary would likely boost the prospect for further fiscal and monetary stimulus and benefit bullion. 

Gold is seen as a hedge against inflation, likely to result from large stimulus.

Silver dropped about 1% to $23.35 an ounce. Platinum rose 0.8% to $933.93 , while palladium fell 1.1% to $2,329.75.

(Reporting by Nakul Iyer in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M. and Rashmi Aich) ((nakul.iyer@thomsonreuters.com; Within U.S. +1 646 223 8780, Outside U.S. +91 80 6749 0417; Reuters Messaging: nakul.iyer.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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