PRECIOUS-Gold falls as vaccine rollouts lessens safe-haven demand
* Vaccine euphoria likely to grip gold in near-term -analyst
* Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus: https://tmsnrt.rs/3mvcUoa
By Nakul Iyer
Dec 14 (Reuters) - Gold prices eased on Monday as COVID-19 vaccine rollouts lifted riskier assets, overshadowing hopes for further U.S. fiscal and monetary stimulus.
Spot gold XAU= fell 0.3% to $1,833.21 per ounce by 0615 GMT, while U.S. gold futures GCv1 eased 0.3% to $1,838.10.
"The euphoria around a COVID-19 vaccine will likely overshadow further easing from the Federal Reserve and a fiscal relief package in the near term," said Howie Lee, an economist at OCBC Bank.
"But gold could rally in 2021 when the vaccine optimism dies down and investors' focus returns to rising inflation expectations due to the large swathe of monetary and fiscal stimulus the U.S. economy still requires."
The first shipments of Pfizer Inc (NYSE: PFE ) PFE.N and BioNTech SE's BNTX.O coronavirus vaccine in the United States began on Sunday, lifting Asian equities. MKTS/GLOB limiting gold's losses were reports that a $908 billion U.S. COVID-19 relief plan could be introduced as early as Monday as a leading Democrat lawmaker suggested his party might be willing to reach a compromise. now await the U.S Federal Reserve's two-day policy meeting starting on Tuesday with bets for increased purchases of longer-dated Treasuries to contain a rise in yields, that also pressured the dollar. USD/
Gold, considered a hedge against inflation and currency debasement, has gained 21% so far this year on the back of near-zero interest rates and unprecedented global stimulus.
Speculators raised bullish positions in COMEX gold and silver contracts in the week to Dec. 8, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data showed. XAG= fell 0.1% to $23.90 an ounce, while platinum XPT= gained 0.8% to $1,016.57 and palladium XPD= rose 0.3% to $2,325.65.
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