Gold jumps over 1% on U.S. stimulus bets

Stacked gold bars at Solar Capital Gold Zrt. in Budapest, Hungary.
Akos Stiller | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Gold gained more than 1% to a two-week high on Monday, bolstered by expectations of fresh fiscal stimulus in the United States.

Spot gold prices were 1.3% higher at $1,860.49 per ounce, after rising to their highest level since Nov. 23 at $1,868.25 earlier. U.S. gold futures settled up 1.4% at $1,866.

"The stimulus plan has helped stabilize the gold market because more money being pumped into the financial system is inflationary," said Kitco Metals senior analyst Jim Wyckoff.

U.S. lawmakers sought to hammer out an agreement on infusing long-awaited relief through a $908 billion bill.

Bullion is considered a hedge against inflation that could result from the large stimulus measures unleashed in 2020, gaining over 22% so far this year.

Also on investors' radar, the United States imposed sanctions and a travel ban on 14 Chinese officials over their alleged role in Beijing's disqualification of elected opposition legislators in Hong Kong.

"This is a seasonally strong period for gold prices and we just went through a capitalization event, in which a lot of the weaker hands in gold have been shaken out of the market," said Daniel Ghali, commodity strategist at TD Securities.

Gold has recovered more than 5% since slumping to a five-month low on Nov. 30, with November also marking bullion's worst month in four years, pressured by hopes of a vaccine-fuelled economic recovery.

Meanwhile, Britain was set to become the first country to roll out the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine this week.

On the technical front, the breach of the $1,850 resistance level signals further gains for gold, analysts said.

Platinum was 2.1% lower at $1,031.92, having earlier shed as much as 4.8%.

Silver gained 1.5% to $24.53 per ounce and palladium fell 0.3% to $2,336.13.