Gold prices declined in the early hours of Thursday morning as majority of market investors are cautious about the macroeconomic effects of the omicron COVID-19 variant and monetary policy adjustments by key central banks across the globe.
Gold futures declined 0.15% to $1,803.15 by 3:18 AM GMT. The dollar, which has an inverse correlation to gold, inched downward.
The yellow metal has fallen nearly 5% to date in 2021 and is expected to record its biggest annual decline since 2015. However, investors expect gold trading to remain thin and range-bound for the remainder of the year.
In Asia Pacific, data released earlier in the day showed that South Korean industrial production rose a better-than-expected 5.9% year-on-year in November. However, the data also showed that retail sales contracted by a larger-than-expected 1.9% month-on-month.
Asia Pacific stocks were mostly up on Thursday, despite a surge in omicron COVID-19 variant cases. Investors also continue to keep an eye on central banks’ withdrawal of monetary stimulus.
In China, the latest COVID-19 outbreak in the western city of Xi’an continues, with the country releasing its manufacturing and non-manufacturing purchasing managers indexes (PMI) on Friday.