Nov 28, 2021, 11:33PM ET
Gold prices rose in Asia Monday morning, with concerns over the impact of the potentially vaccine-resistant Omicron COVID-19 variant giving a boost to the yellow metal, which is considered a haven.
By 11:27 p.m. ET (4:27 a.m. GMT), gold futures were up 0.39% to $1,795.05 per ounce.
New cases of the Omicron variant were detected in the Netherlands, Denmark, and Australia over the weekend, while other countries, including Japan, imposed travel restrictions.
However, the World Health Organization warned that it would take time to assess the strain and classified it as a "variant of concern." Two South African health experts, including the chairwoman of the South African Medical Association, Angelique Coetzee, pointed out that the Omicron variant has so far shown only mild symptoms.
The eurozone is better equipped to deal with the economic impact of a new wave of COVID-19 infections, or the Omicron variant, said European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde.
On the other hand, Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic said Friday he is confident the U.S. economy's momentum will weather the next wave of COVID-19 cases and said he remains open to accelerating the pace at which the central bank reduces its assets.
In Asia-Pacific, Japanese retail sales rose 0.9% in October from a year earlier. In Australia, gross corporate operating profits rose 4% quarter-on-quarter in the third quarter of 2021.
Falling prices also drove demand for physical gold in key Asian centers last week. Traders in India are also preparing for a likely rise as the wedding season begins.
In other precious metals, silver rose 1.1%, platinum 2.3%, and palladium 2.7%.