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Gold Up Over Omicron Curbs, but Gains Capped by U.S. Interest Rate Hike Bets

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By Gina Lee – Gold was up on Tuesday morning in Asia, with investors turning to the safe-haven asset as rising numbers of COVID-19 cases globally led to some countries tightening restrictive measures short of a lockdown. However, rising U.S. Treasury yields and interest rate hikes bets kept the yellow metal’s gains small.

Gold futures edged up 0.18% to $1,803.45 by 11:09 PM ET (4:09 AM GMT). The dollar, which normally moves inversely to gold, inched up on Tuesday morning. Benchmark 10-year Treasury yields whit a more than one-month high during the previous session.

The number of COVID-19 cases globally continues to rise, but Reuters data suggests that the omicron variant is less virulent than Delta. However, omicron is more transmissible, leading to various preventive measures including thousands of U.S. schools delaying returning to classrooms or switching to online learning. Several major banks have also encouraged employees to work from home for a few weeks.

Meanwhile the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday approved a third dose of the Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE)./BioNTech SE COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 12 to 15. It also shortened the interval for booster shot eligibility to five months from six.

Monetary policies are also on investors’ radars, with the minutes from the latest U.S. Federal Reserve meeting due on Wednesday. The Fed is expected to hike interest rates several times throughout 2022.

In Asia Pacific, Chinese data released earlier in the day showed that the Caixin manufacturing purchasing managers index was 50.9 in December, better than expected.

In other precious metals, silver and platinum were up 0.3% while palladium rose 1%.

Gold Up Over Omicron Curbs, but Gains Capped by U.S. Interest Rate Hike Bets

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