Gold edged up slightly in thin trading on Monday, with U.S. equity and bond markets shut Monday for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.
Risk-off sentiment prevailed as weak U.S. retail sales data as well as growing coronavirus infections around the world sparked worries about a slow recovery from the pandemic.
Spot gold edged up 0.2 percent to $1,832.60 an ounce, while U.S. gold futures were marginally higher at $1,830.70.
The total number of global coronavirus cases topped 95 million, while the death toll surpassed 2 million.
China reported more than 100 new Covid-19 cases for the sixth consecutive day, while the number of hospitalized Covid-19 patients with serious symptoms in Japan topped 970, marking a record high since the onset of the pandemic in the country.
Portugal imposed a new nationwide lockdown while the U.K. government announced that it will close all travel corridors from today in order to restrict the spread of new coronavirus variant cases.
New coronavirus infections have been decreasing in Germany but the country’s health minister said that more needed to be done to bring it permanently under control.
Chancellor Angela Merkel and Germany’s 16 state premiers will discuss what to do next on Tuesday.
According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, U.S. President-elect Joe Biden’s pick for Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen, is expected to rule out seeking a weaker dollar when she testifies on Capitol Hill Tuesday.
Yellen’s confirmation hearing as Treasury Secretary is scheduled for Jan. 19 in front of the Senate Finance Committee, the day before President-elect Joe Biden is sworn into office.
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