Gold gains as second-wave fears counter firm dollar

U.S. gold futures were down 0.2% at $1,900

  
A 1000 gram gold bar is seen at the Kazakhstan's National Bank vault in Almaty, Kazakhstan September 15, 2017. Image used for illustrative purpose.

A 1000 gram gold bar is seen at the Kazakhstan's National Bank vault in Almaty, Kazakhstan September 15, 2017. Image used for illustrative purpose.

REUTERS/Mariya Gordeyeva

Gold edged up on Monday as growing fears over a second COVID-19 wave countered a firmer dollar and a lack of headway on a U.S. stimulus package to combat the economic impact of the pandemic.

Spot gold was 0.1% higher at $1,902.06 per ounce by 1221 GMT, regaining some ground after earlier falling to its lowest since Oct. 15, at $1,890.19.

U.S. gold futures were flat at $1,904.30.

"What's significant is the fact that yes, we have opened lower, but we're actually pulling off the lows of the day. There was always this possibility that we were going to get a second (COVID-19) wave, and obviously that is a concern," said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK.

"It's still unlikely that we're going to get a fiscal stimulus out of the U.S. this year now," Hewson added.

Gold, considered a hedge against inflation, currency debasement and broader macroeconomic uncertainties, has gained 25% this year, driven mainly by unprecedented global stimulus measures to cushion against the coronavirus-induced slump.

The dollar index rose 0.2%, denting appetite for gold among those holding other currencies. 

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday said the Trump administration was reviewing the latest plan for more COVID-19 relief and she expected a response on Monday.

CMC Market's Hewson said there was a "prevailing sense of deja vu with markets" reacting to the repeat of the first lockdown as European leaders warned of difficult months ahead over a resurgent pandemic. 

An improvement in Asian physical demand could provide further support to gold, said Commerzbank analyst Daniel Briesemann. 

Elsewhere, auto-catalyst metals palladium fell 0.3% to $2,385.20 while platinum shed 0.8% to $894.12.

Chinese car sales data "paints a bullish picture into the year-end and should keep prices buoyant," MKS PAMP said in a note.

Silver dipped 1.1% to $24.32 per ounce.

(Reporting by Asha Sistla in Bengaluru Editing by David Holmes) ((Asha.Sistla@thomsonreuters.com; If within U.S. +1 646 223 8780; outside U.S. +91 80 6182 2808; Reuters Messaging: Reuters Messaging: asha.sistla.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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