Bengaluru — Gold prices were little changed on Wednesday as investors weighed news that US Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell postponed a vote on increased pandemic aid cheques to individuals.
Spot gold was steady at $1,877.76/oz by 12.43am GMT. US gold futures fell 0.1% to $1,881.50.
McConnell on Tuesday delayed a vote on President Donald Trump’s demand to increase Covid-19 relief cheques to $2,000, in a rare challenge to his fellow Republican three weeks before he vacates the White House. However, treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin said the $600 stimulus cheques that are part of a $2.3-trillion package signed into law last week would begin as soon as Tuesday evening.
Gold has benefited from huge stimulus rolled out to stem the economic effect of the pandemic as it is seen as a hedge against inflation and currency debasement.
Lending some support to the metal, the US dollar hovered close to a two and a half-year trough against rival currencies.
Meanwhile, vaccine rollouts in Europe gathered pace with the EU set to buy an extra 100-million doses of Pfizer and BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine. Coronavirus cases continue to soar globally, with Britain reporting the highest number of new infections since mass testing began in mid-2020, while the first case of a new infectious virus variant was found in the US.
The US Federal Reserve extended the end date for its Main Street Lending Programme by eight days to process a rush of applications submitted since the Trump administration ended the central bank’s emergency credit facility.
Silver fell 0.2% to $26.14/oz. Platinum rose 0.1% to $1,050.70 and palladium gained 0.4% to $2,337.43.