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Gold firms above $1800 per ounce as pandemic, inflation risks linger

Kitco News

Jan 4 (Reuters) - Gold climbed above the key $1,800-per-ounce level on Tuesday, after a sharp retreat in the last session, as some investors sought cover from pandemic-led uncertainty, inflation and its impact on the U.S. Federal Reserve's rate hike trajectory.

Spot gold rose 0.2% to $1,804.89 per ounce by 1110 GMT, after recording its worst session in more than a month on Monday. U.S. gold futures rose 0.3% to $1,805.3.

"Gold prices are seeing some relief after being pummelled by surging U.S. Treasury yields on Monday. Rising yields could be the scourge of bullion bugs in the first half of 2022, as ramped-up expectations for Fed rate hikes could dampen demand for the non-interest-paying precious metal," said Han Tan, chief market analyst at Exinity.

"Still, lingering concerns over a possible turn for the worse in the worldwide battle against COVID-19 should offer some measure of support for gold prices while waiting for the global outlook to brighten considerably," Tan added. read more

The dollar index (.DXY) and benchmark 10-year Treasury yields stayed strong on Tuesday, after having driven bullion's sharp declines in the last session.

However, "once the dust settles it is very important to watch what the FOMC does and not what it says," Saxo Bank analyst Ole Hansen said in a note.

U.S. real yields may not rise as much as expected by the market "and with that in mind and given the prospect for U.S. stocks coming off the boil, we believe gold as well as silver and platinum will offer a positive return in 2022," Ole added.

In the physical market, the world's second-biggest bullion consumer India splurged a record $55.7 billion on gold imports, amid lower prices and pent-up wedding demand. read more

Spot silver fell 0.3% to $22.79 per ounce, platinum rose 0.7% to $961.40, and palladium rose 2.4% to $1,868.68.

Reporting by Seher Dareen in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.
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