Gold futures fell from a four-week high as a promising study for an experimental coronavirus vaccine curbed demand for the metal as a haven.
Moderna Inc. said its vaccine tests yielded signs it can create an immune-system response in the body. Bullion gained as much as 1.1% earlier after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell warned in comments aired Sunday that the US economic recovery could stretch through until the end of next year and depend on the delivery of a vaccine.
"Gold prices shed some gains, reflecting some reversal of safe-haven flows amid hopes of a vaccine," Daniel Ghali, a TD Securities analyst, said in an emailed message. "Inasmuch as a vaccine is the ultimate remedy for the economic problems that lie ahead, it would negate the need for a prolonged period in which the Fed and other central banks would provide unprecedented amounts of stimulus."
Dismal economic data and fears over new infections have driven recent gains in gold, even as investors are encouraged by businesses reopening across major economies. That's fueled bets that bullion could reach an all-time high as massive stimulus measures push holdings in bullion-backed exchange-traded funds to a record. Gains have also been driven by US-China tensions and speculation over the possibility of negative US interest rates.
Gold futures for June delivery fell 0.6% to $1,746.40 an ounce at 9:45 a.m. on the Comex in New York. The metal earlier touched $1,775.80, the highest since mid-April's seven-year peak.
Other precious metals more widely used in industrial applications advanced on Monday. China's house-price growth accelerated last month, adding to signs that the top metal-consuming economy is gradually building post-pandemic strength, and the nation announced guidelines to revive large infrastructure projects.
Palladium futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange jumped 8%, on course for the largest gain since late March, amid renewed optimism about China's economy reopening and planned stimulus for automakers, the biggest consumers of the metal. Worries over supplies from South Africa also added to support, with Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. shutting a mine over the weekend after several members of staff were tested positive for Covid-19.
Platinum also advanced on the Nymex, while silver rose on the Comex.