Gold prices declined slightly on Monday as inflation expectations jumped to a six-year high and lifted the benchmark U.S. Treasury yields to their highest levels since March 2020. The higher yields raised the opportunity cost of holding the yellow metal.
Spot gold is currently trading at $1,819.07 per ounce as of 0824 GMT.
Michael McCarthy, the chief market strategist of CMC Markets, noted that the optimism around economic growth and recovery diminished the appeal of gold as a safe-haven asset. Another factor that weighs on the bullion is the performance of the bond markets, which indicates that the central bank will not likely maintain its accommodative policy this year.
Meanwhile, U.S. President Joe Biden met with a bipartisan group of local officials to seek help on his $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief plan. Taking part in the White House summit were elected officials whose cities and states have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic fallout. They include New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams. Biden stressed the role of the federal government in the economic recovery of cities and states, particularly in terms of unemployment.
Williams admitted that his city urgently needs the federal aid allocated for local governments in the president’s rescue plan. He added that they were crippled by the pandemic and regardless of party, supporting Biden’s plan is the right solution to accelerate economic recovery.
The meeting at the Oval Office came as public health officials prepared new guidelines for school reopening. More than 400 mayors have written Congress to urge them to pass Biden’s plan. But most Republican lawmakers support a much smaller price tag.
In a recent statement, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen called on G7 finance leaders to “go big” with the additional COVID-19 stimulus package.
In physical trading, the demand in India slipped last week as investors were turned off by the volatility of domestic gold prices.
In a related development, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) reported the money and hedge fund managers raised their bullish stance in COMEX gold contracts for the week that ended on February 9.