Gold was down on Friday morning in Asia over new hopes for COVID-19 vaccines coming out of both the U.S. and U.K., and the European Central Bank (ECB) signalling that it may leave interest rates and stimulus unchanged in the near future.
Gold futures were down by 0.12% to $1,798.15, retreating below the $1,800 mark.
European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde said at the ECB Governing Council meeting earlier this week that the ECB deems monetary stimulus in Europe to be necessary in the near future, fuelling investor risk appetite.
In the U.S., Moderna announced positive results earlier this week from early stage trials for its COVID-19 vaccine, which developed neutralising antibodies in the bloodstream of all participants.
U.K. scientists have also reported their own breakthrough. A trial for a COVID-19 vaccine being developed by researchers at Oxford University involving 5,000 volunteers is currently underway in Brazil. Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has also agreed to mass-produce the vaccine.
“The team is absolutely on track,” David Carpenter, chair of the Berkshire Research Ethics Committee, told The Telegraph. If the vaccine is found to be effective, Carpenter predicts that it could be available as early as September, with investor sentiment boosted over hopes of an economic recovery in the near future.