The prices of gold rose on Wednesday despite the decision of Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel to delay the vote on the proposed increase in COVID-19 relief payments. The yellow metal was supported by the soft dollar, which plunged close to more than a two-year low that made the bullion more attractive to investors that use rival currencies.
Spot gold is currently trading at $1,879.34 per ounce as of 0911 GM.
The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives voted on Monday to approve President Donald Trump’s demand to increase COVID-19 relief checks to $2,000. But they also voted to override Trump’s veto of the $740 billion National Defense Authorization Act, which is likely to be seconded by the Senate. In defiance of Trump, McConnell called on other senators to override the president’s veto of the defense policy bill. He also put off a vote on the relief checks. Some Republican senators, like Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, support raising the stimulus checks but others worry about the cost to taxpayers.
In a related development, the Federal Reserve extended the deadline for its Main Street Lending Program for eight days. The administration ended the emergency credit facility effective December 31.
Michael Langford, a founding partner and executive director of AirGuide, noted that the weakness of the greenback was enough to maintain a high level of confidence in the gold market. He expects the $2,000 stimulus checks in the U.S. to pass but added that the bullion needs further catalysts to see a significant upward trend.
Han Tan, a market analyst with FXTM, predicted that the yellow metal would recover to the $2,000 per ounce level in 2021. But it would depend on the inflation outlook in the U.S. and fresh rounds of stimulus package under the new administration of President-elect Joe Biden. The flows of exchange-traded funds are also likely to have a major influence on gold’s price performance next year, he added.
Meanwhile, the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise. Britain reported the highest number of new cases since the mid-2020, while the U.S. reported its first case of the new variant of the coronavirus. The European Union plans to order an additional 100 million doses of vaccines from Pfizer and BioNTech.