Gold Futures Pare Early Gains, Settle Lower

Gold futures pared early gains and settled lower on Monday as the dollar firmed against other major currencies.

Gold prices climbed earlier in the day as investors picked up the safe-haven commodity amid concerns about growth following the detection of a new variant of the coronavirus and possible stricter restrictions on movement.

New cases of the variant were found in the Netherlands, Denmark, and Australia. Several countries, including the U.S. and Japan have imposed travel restrictions.

While the World Health Organization has said it could take weeks to understand the variant’s severity, a South African doctor who has treated cases said symptoms so far seemed to be mild.

The dollar index, which eased to 96.14 after climbing to 96.35 in the Asian session, subsequently gained in strength and rose to 96.45 by noon. The index was at 96.31 a little while ago.

Gold futures for February ended lower by $2.90 or about 0.2% at $1,785.20 an ounce, well off the day’s high of $1,801.50.

Silver futures for March closed down $0.283 at $22.582 an ounce, while Copper futures for March settled at $4.3410 per pound, up $0.0500 from the previous close.

In U.S. economic news, the National Association of Realtors released a report showing pending home sales rebounded by much more than expected in the month of October.

NAR said its pending home sales index spiked by 7.5% to 125.2 in October after tumbling by 2.4% to a revised 116.5 in September. Economists had expected pending home sales to increase by 1% compared to the 2.3% slump originally reported for the previous month.

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