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Gold was down on Monday morning in Asia, dropping to its lowest in one-and-a-half months over a strengthening dollar even as expectations of further U.S. stimulus measures mount.

Gold futures were up 0.14% at $1,827.40 by 11:12 PM ET (4:12 AM GMT), after falling to the lowest levels since Dec. 2, 2020 earlier in the session. The dollar was up on Monday.

Preparations are currently underway for the inauguration of U.S. President-Elect Joe Biden and his administration on Wednesday. Alongside pushing the $1.9 trillion stimulus measures that he unveiled during the previous week, Biden added on Friday that he aims to inoculate 100 million Americans during his first 100 days in office.

On the data front, U.S. economic data released on Friday showed that core retail sales contracted 1.4% month-on-month in December, which was larger than the 0.1% contraction in forecasts prepared by Investing.com and the 1.3% contraction recorded in November.

The Producer Price Index (PPI) grew 0.3% month on month in December, while retail sales contracted 0.7% month on month in the same month.

China also released economic data earlier in the day showing that industrial production grew 7.3% year-on-year in December, above the 6.9% in forecasts prepared by Investing.com, and the 7% growth seen in November, according to data released earlier in the day.

The data also showed that GDP rose 6.5% year-on-year in the fourth quarter, above the forecast 6.1% growth and the 4.9% growth in the third quarter. The GDP also grew 2.6% quarter-on-quarter, this time below the forecast 3.2% and the 2.7% growth seen during the previous quarter.

Physical gold in China, one of the world’s top consumers of the yellow metal, was sold at a small premium for the first time since early 2020 in the previous week, as demand picked up ahead of the upcoming Chinese New Year holiday.

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