By Gina Lee
Investing.com – Gold was up on Friday morning in Asia, set for its worst week in five months over increasing bets that the U.S. Federal Reserve will accelerate asset tapering and hike interest rates quicker than expected to curb rising inflation.
Gold futures rose 0.76% to $1,797.80 by 11:37 PM ET (4:37 AM GMT). The yellow metal has slumped more than 2.8% for the week and was headed for its worst week since June 18, 2021.
The Fed is likely to double the pace at which it tapers its monthly bond purchases from January 2021 to $30 billion, and wind down its asset tapering scheme by mid-March 2022, Goldman Sachs analysts said in a note on Thursday.
Across the Atlantic, the European Central Bank (ECB) released the minutes from its latest meeting . The central bank is also coming under pressure from bankers to lend more of its inventory of German government bonds, a move that would avert a market squeeze but undo some of EBC’s own stimulus efforts.
COVID-19 cases are surging in the continent, with Germany contemplating re-imposing a lockdown after neighboring Austria went into a full lockdown earlier in the week.
The newly discovered B.1.1.529 variant of COVID-19, detected in South Africa, is also on Investors’ radars with Hong Kong already confirming two cases.
In Australia, retail sales grew a better-than-expected 4.9% month-on-month in October.
China's net gold imports via Hong Kong jumped to the highest since June 2018 in October, with buyers stocking up on the safe-haven metal to cushion against inflation.
In other precious metals, silver inched down 0.1% and platinum fell 0.6%, while palladium was up 0.4%.
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