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Gold steady as virus fears offset stronger dollar
· Gold prices were steady on Monday as investors worried about a spike in COVID-19 cases and the race for next month’s U.S. presidential election faced a stronger dollar.
· Spot gold was up 0.1% at $1,904.60 per ounce. U.S. gold futures settled mostly unchanged at $1,905.70.
· “Gold has been trapped between $1,930 - $1,880. It is waiting to take cues from the election and there’s this resurgence of the pandemic,” said Phillip Streible, chief market strategist at Blue Line Futures in Chicago. “But the dollar index is up today, (and) has a strong inverse correlation to gold,” he added.
· A spike in new infections weighed on risk sentiment among investors as cases touched record levels in the United States. In Europe, Italy and Spain imposed new restrictions.
· On Sunday, U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said President Donald Trump’s administration was reviewing the latest plan for more COVID-19 relief, and she expected a response on Monday.
· “Overall bullish sentiment remains strong and deep, with a view that more stimulus will be coming and that it is really only a matter of time,” said Tai Wong, head of base and precious metals derivatives trading at BMO.
“As a result we continue to see demand for gold on dips.”
· Gold tends to benefit from widespread stimulus measures from central banks because it is widely viewed as a hedge against inflation and currency debasement.
However, safe-haven gains for the U.S. dollar limited gold’s appeal, as the dollar index rose 0.3% against its rivals, making gold more expensive for holders of other currencies.
· Elsewhere, silver slipped 1.4% to $24.25 per ounce, palladium fell 1.9% to $2,346.46 and platinum shed 3.5% to $869.83.
· Pelosi optimistic of COVID-19 relief deal before Nov. 3 U.S. elections-aide
U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi is hopeful that congressional Democrats and the Trump administration can reach agreement on a coronavirus relief bill before the Nov. 3 elections, her spokesman said on Monday, adding that major issues still must be ironed out.
Pelosi says White House rejecting Democrats COVID-19 testing plan
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Monday the White House has refused to sign on to Democratic lawmakers’ plan for a coronavirus testing strategy, despite earlier public statements to the contrary by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.
“Today, we are waiting for an important response on several concerns, including on action to crush the virus,” Pelosi said in a letter to colleagues. “Ten days after Secretary Mnuchin went on CNBC to declare that he was accepting our testing plan, the Administration still refuses to do so.”
· Senate votes to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to Supreme Court
· U.S. new home sales fall in September; prices continue to rise
Sales of new U.S. single-family homes unexpectedly fell in September after four straight monthly increases, but the housing market remains supported by record low mortgage rates and demand for more room as the COVID-19 pandemic drags on.
The drop in new homes, however, likely signals a slowdown in housing market momentum heading into the fourth quarter. New home sales are counted at the signing of a contract, making them a leading housing market indicator.
New home sales fell 3.5% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 959,000 units last month. August’s sales pace was revised down to 994,000 units from the previously reported 1.011 million units. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast new home sales, which account for about 12.8% of housing market sales, rising 2.8% to a rate of 1.025 million units.
· AstraZeneca says its coronavirus vaccine triggers immune response among adults
British pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca on Monday said its potential Covid-19 vaccine has produced a similar immune response in older and younger adults.
AstraZeneca, which is developing its potential Covid-19 vaccine in collaboration with the University of Oxford, said adverse responses to the vaccine among the elderly were also found to be lower.
The announcement is likely to boost hopes of a Covid vaccine being developed before the end of the year.
“It is encouraging to see immunogenicity responses were similar between older and younger adults and that reactogenicity was lower in older adults, where the COVID-19 disease severity is higher,” an AstraZeneca spokesman told CNBC via email.
· Hopes are rising for a potential Covid vaccine — and Fauci says findings will be known by early December
Hopes are rising that a Covid-19 vaccine could be approved by the end of the year, with drugmakers and research centers scrambling to help bring an end to the pandemic.
Dozens of candidate vaccines are in clinical evaluation, according to the World Health Organization, with some already conducting late-stage tests before seeking formal approval.
The outcome of the trials is being closely monitored around the world.
“We will know whether a vaccine is safe and effective by the end of November, the beginning of December,” White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said in a BBC interview on Sunday.
· Wave of new COVID-19 cases crashes across U.S. and Europe as winter looms
The United States, Russia, France and many other countries are setting records for coronavirus infections as a tidal wave of cases washes over parts of the Northern Hemisphere, forcing some countries to impose new curbs.
The gloom weighed on global financial markets on Monday as surging infections clouded the economic outlook.
U.S. stocks had their worst day in four weeks over the double whammy of record coronavirus cases and political deadlock in negotiations to provide more economic aid.
But British Health Secretary Matt Hancock cautioned that the vaccine would not be widely available until next year and said, “We’re not there yet”.
· CORONAVIRUS UPDATES:
Global cases: 43.76M
Global deaths: 1.16M
U.S. cases: 8.96M
U.S. deaths: 231,038
· Average daily new coronavirus cases in U.S. hit all-time high, expert warns of ‘exponential spread’
The average number of new daily cases of coronavirus in the United States is at a record — stressing local hospital systems and forcing new curfews and other restrictions in some parts of the country.
With fall holidays such as Halloween and Thanksgiving approaching, the U.S. has now established its third peak of daily new cases with no signs of letting up.
Over the past seven days, the country reported an average of about 68,767 new cases every day, the highest seven-day average recorded yet, according to a CNBC analysis of Johns Hopkins University data. The seven-day average is up more than 22% compared with a week ago, according to CNBC’s analysis.
· France reviews options for tighter COVID-19 restrictions: sources
· Merkel plans 'lockdown light' to slow infection wave in Germany - Bild
· Protests flare in Italian cities against COVID-19 restrictions
· U.S. early voting tops 60 million as historic pace continues
· India, U.S. clinch defence pact on satellite data as Pompeo, Esper hold talks
India will sign a military agreement with the United States for sharing of sensitive satellite data, the defence ministry said on Monday, as the two sides began a top-level security dialogue aimed at countering China’s growing power in the region.
· China to impose sanctions on U.S. firms over Taiwan arms sales
· China gives six U.S. media outlets a week to report on operations
China’s foreign ministry has ordered six U.S. media outlets to report back on their operations in the country within seven days, after Washington said it was designating the U.S. arms of six more China-based media firms as foreign missions.
The U.S. media firms affected are the American Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), the Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, Feature Story News, the Bureau of National Affairs and Minnesota Public Radio, according to a statement from China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs late on Monday.
· U.S. issues fresh Iran-related sanctions targeting state oil sector
· Iran’s oil minister says Tehran's oil industry will not yield to U.S pressure: tweet
· German government warns Thai king not to conduct politics from Germany
Germany is continuing to look into the behaviour of Thailand’s king, who tends to spend long stretches of time in Bavaria, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Monday, as opposition protests in Thailand gain speed.
“We are monitoring this long-term,” Maas said. “It will have immediate consequences if there are things that we assess to be illegal.”
· Workers and students pose strike challenge to Belarusian leader
Factory workers chanted slogans, students and pensioners took to the streets, and police detained at least 235 people on Monday as the Belarusian opposition sought to intensify pressure on veteran leader Alexander Lukashenko with a nationwide strike.
· Air strikes on Syrian rebel camp kill at least 35 people: sources
Reference: CNBC, Reuters, Worldometers