July 21 (Reuters) – Gold eased on Wednesday as the dollar emerged as the preferred safe-haven bet amid fears that the highly contagious Delta coronavirus variant may stall a global economic recovery, while a rebound in U.S. bond yields further pressured bullion prices.
Spot gold was down 0.2% to $1,806.56 per ounce, as of 0258 GMT. U.S. gold futures fell 0.2% to $1,808.10.
“Even though gold considered a safe-haven, in times where there are true concerns about growth outlook, policy going forward and there is a drive to safety, the U.S. dollar always wins out,” said IG Market analyst Kyle Rodda.
“We did see some buyers coming through below $1,800 per ounce, which was constructive. But at the moment, the dollar is viewed as a safe-haven on bets that the U.S. economy will outperform a patchy global economy.”
The dollar rose 0.1% to hover near a 3-1/2-month peak against its rivals, potentially trimming appetite for gold by making the metal more expensive for holders of other currencies.
Yields on 10-year Treasuries bounced off five-month lows, increasing the opportunity cost of holding non-interest bearing gold.
Asian shares rose after sharp declines in the previous two sessions on concerns over the impact of the fast-spreading Delta variant.
Investors now shift their focus to the European Central Bank meeting on Thursday where policymakers are expected to chart a new path to reflect a change in strategy and show the bank is serious about reviving inflation.
Elsewhere, silver fell 0.3% to $24.84 per ounce, after hitting a more than three-month low earlier in the session.
“Silver prices are under pressure on concern that the spread of the new coronavirus Delta variant infections will lead to additional pandemic restrictions that undercut economic activity and demand for industrial metals,” Avtar Sandu, a senior commodities manager at Phillip Futures, said in a note.
Palladium rose 0.1% to $2,636.32 and platinum fell 0.1% to $1,064.89.
(Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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