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Gold was down on Tuesday morning in Asia, declining slightly as a firmer dollar and high Treasury yields outweighed U.S. political uncertainty and rising numbers of COVID-19 cases globally.

Gold futures inched down 0.03% at $1,850.20 by 11:05 PM ET (4:05 AM GMT).

Benchmark Treasury yields continued at 10-month highs as investor prepare for higher government spending under the incoming Joe Biden administration. The expectations drove the dollar, which usually moves inversely to gold, up on Tuesday.

Money markets are also increasingly betting on higher interest rates from 2023, which increased jitters for stocks, as investors start bracing for the Federal Reserve to slowly scale back its aid to the economy.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell will take part in a webinar on Thursday, while European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde will speak at an online conference on Wednesday.

On the COVID-19 front, the number of global cases continues to increase and has surpassed 90.87 million as of Jan. 12, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The rising numbers have prompted some countries, including China, to extend or re-introduce lockdown measures.

Of the global cases, over 22.6 million cases are in the U.S., with over 22,000 American lives lost to the virus during the previous week. The U.S. continues its rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, with nearly 9 million Americans inoculated with their first vaccination dose as of Monday.

Also in the U.S., political turmoil continues after House of Representatives Democrats introduced a resolution on Monday to impeach incumbent President Donald Trump for the second time. Trump has been banned from social media platforms, in Twitter’s case permanently, in the aftermath of the siege on Capitol Hill seen during the previous week.

Although a vote is due to take place later in the week unless Vice President Mike Pence makes use of his constitutional authority to remove Trump from power, Trump and Pence reportedly agreed to work together until Biden and his administration begin their terms on Jan. 20, during a meeting on Monday.


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