Gold prices slipped on Monday as higher bond yields and rallying equities weighed on the metal’s safe-haven appeal as the new year gets under way, pushing it down from a six-week peak hit earlier in the session.
Spot gold fell 0.3% to $1,823.63 an ounce by 11.31am GMT, having touched its highest since November 22 at $1,831.62. US gold futures edged 0.1% down to $1,826.40.
“The small setback in gold prices is likely driven by positive risk sentiment as gauged by rising equity markets,” said UBS analyst Giovanni Staunovo.
Staunovo expects rising US interest rates and falling US inflation in 2022 to weigh on gold and forecasts a price of $1,650 at the end of the year.
Gold prices ended 2021 down 3.6% for the biggest annual drop since 2015, with economies starting to recover from the coronavirus crisis.
Despite surging coronavirus cases, the number of deaths and hospitalisations from the Omicron variant are comparatively low, leading many governments to stop short of lockdowns.
Quantitative Commodity Research analyst Peter Fertig said that public holidays in parts of Europe made for low trading volumes so exaggerating price movements in gold.
The dollar ticked up against its major rivals as an upbeat market mood lifted European equities and government bond yields.
“We’ve seen the dollar starting the year on a strong footing and putting a little bit of downside pressure on an otherwise upward moving gold price,” said independent analyst Ross Norman.
What seems to be holding up the gold market continues to be the physical investor, Norman said, referring to the market for coins and gold bars. But he said that this is not enough to propel institutions into exchange-traded funds or the futures markets, where there have been some hefty liquidations and redemptions.
In other precious metals, silver was steady at $23.27 an ounce, platinum rose 1.8% to $979.44 and palladium was up 0.8% at $1,906.77.