Gold prices edged lower on Monday as bets for further U.S. monetary stimulus and hopes that trial successes of Covid vaccines can help an effective rollout of shots across the world boosted investors’ risk appetite.
Spot gold slipped 0.2 percent to $1,868.23 per ounce, while U.S. gold futures were down 0.3 percent at $1,866.65.
After declining to extend several emergency loan programs established jointly with the Federal Reserve, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Friday reassured markets that the U.S. central bank and Treasury had many tools left to support the economy.
The Federal Reserve and European Central Bank both have the minutes of their last meetings out this week, with investors looking for further indications that they are ready to add stimulus in light of the surge in coronavirus cases.
Meanwhile, after a string of encouraging vaccine results in recent weeks, the Oxford University and British pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca announced that their vaccine for the novel coronavirus could be around 90 percent effective under one dosing regimen.
“Today marks an important milestone in our fight against the pandemic. This vaccine’s efficacy and safety confirm that it will be highly effective against Covid-19 and will have an immediate impact on this public health emergency,” AstraZeneca chief executive Pascal Soriot said in a statement.
One dosing regimen (n=2,741) showed vaccine efficacy of 90 percent when AZD1222 was given as a half dose, followed by a full dose at least one month apart, and another dosing regimen (n=8,895) showed 62 percent efficacy when given as two full doses at least one month apart.
The combined analysis from both dosing regimens (n=11,636) resulted in an average efficacy of 70 percent, it was said.
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