Dollar rally challenges gold’s safe-haven appeal

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Gold prices fell on Wednesday, set for a second-day of declines as a stronger dollar and rebound in U.S. Treasury yields contended with the metal’s safe haven status amid fears over the fast-spreading Delta coronavirus variant.

Spot gold fell 0.2% to $1,805.81 per ounce by 0855 GMT. U.S. gold futures slipped 0.3% to $1,805.50.

“Treasury yields are looking a bit firmer, and (European) equity markets are a little bit better bid and that’s taking the shine off gold,” said CMC Markets UK’s chief market analyst Michael Hewson.

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The U.S. dollar neared its year-high and bonds rallied further on Wednesday, as the rapid spread of the Delta variant displaced inflation as investors’ primary concern.

U.S. benchmark treasury yields have rebounded from an over 5-month low reached the previous session.

Additionally, European stocks rose ahead of the European Central Bank meeting on Thursday that is expected to convey a dovish tone.

The Delta variant have raised fears that further lockdowns and other restrictions could upend the worldwide economic recovery, pushing investors to safe bets.

However, Han Tan, market analyst at Exinity Group, said gold had been losing out to the dollar in the battle for safe haven dominance, and spot gold prices were likely to struggle to move higher past the $1,800 psychological level.

“As long as the greenback remains as the dominant safe haven, spot gold is expected to remain suppressed.”

Meanwhile, investors are also focused on the European Central Bank meeting on Thursday where policymakers are expected to chart a new path to reflect a change in strategy and show the bank is serious about reviving inflation.

Elsewhere, silver rose 1.1% to $25.17 per ounce, palladium gained 1.2% to $2,665.58, and platinum climbed 0.7% to $1,073.21. (Reporting by Arundhati Sarkar in Bengaluru Editing by Robert Birsel)