Gold was down on Thursday morning in Asia, as a potential U.S. stimulus measure totaling more than $2 trillion stoked inflation fears.
Gold futures edged down 0.18% at $1,712.50 by 1:20 AM ET (5:20 AM GMT).
U.S. President Joe Biden on Wednesday unveiled a $2.25 trillion, eight-year “American Jobs Plan” that called for $620 billion to be spent on transportation and a further $650 billion for initiatives such as cleaner water and high-speed broadband.
The plan was promptly met with Republican resistance and saw U.S. government bond yields rise as fears rose that inflation would also rise.
Investors also digested economic data out of Asia released earlier in the day. China’s Caixin manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for March disappointed, reading 50.6 against the 51.3 in forecasts prepared by Investing.com and February’s 50.9 reading. It was a more positive story in Japan, where the Tankan Large Manufacturers Index was at 5 for the first quarter of 2021, above the –15 in forecasts prepared by Investing.com and the –10 reading in the fourth quarter of 2020. The Tankan Large Non-Manufacturers Index was at –1, against the –5 reading in both Investing.com forecasts and the fourth quarter of 2020.
Meanwhile, the World Trade Organization raised its growth forecast for global goods trade for 2021 slightly. It added, however, that the outlook was clouded by risks from the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines and reports of a new, vaccine-resistant strain of the virus.
In other precious metals, silver inched down 0.1%, platinum was down 0.3% and palladium edged down 0.1%.