Gold prices, though little changed in holiday-thinned trade on Thursday, were on course for their best annual performance in a decade.
Spot gold, up more than 24% this year in its best performance since 2010, was almost flat at $1,893.10 per ounce as of 1240 GMT.
U.S. gold futures were up 0.2% to $1,897.40.
“With reduced market participants activity on the last day of the year, I expect gold to move in a narrow range. Some modest support is coming from a slightly weaker U.S. dollar and modestly lower U.S. real rates,” said UBS analyst Giovanni Staunovo. [US/]
“We look for a move towards $1,950 in the first quarter of 2021, with the expansionary monetary and fiscal policy pushing inflation expectations up and with U.S. real rates falling further.”
The dollar index fell to a more than two-year trough, making gold cheaper for other currency holders. [USD/]
European shares fell as wider coronavirus lockdowns in Britain reduced expectations for a swift economic recovery in 2021, despite the vaccine roll-out campaigns. [.EU]
Keeping gold’s advance in check was Republican Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell’s refusal for a quick Senate vote on a bill to increase U.S. relief checks.
Unprecedented stimulus measures and low interest rates to cushion economies from the impact of the pandemic this year have benefited gold, as it is seen as a hedge against inflation.
Silver fell 0.6% to $26.45 per ounce but is up more than 48% this year in its best performance since 2010.
Platinum rose 0.9% to $1,075.56 per ounce and is up over 10% in 2020.
Palladium gained 1.1% to $2,389.15, on track for a fifth straight year of gains with a 22% rise.
A woman wearing a dress made of cash, Germany, 1923.
THESE are the shocking images that reveal the full horror of hyperinflation in post Great War Germany ñ when money was literally worthless. In 1923, Germany was hit by one of the worst cases of hyperinflation in history, with 4.2 trillions marks worth just one American dollar. This out-of-control inflation began somewhat mildly during World War I, as the German government printed unbacked currency and borrowed money to finance military expenditures. The strategy was to pay off the debts by seizing resource-rich territories and imposing reparations on the vanquished Allies. But when Germany lost the war and ended up with massive debts, including huge reparations to be paid to the Allies under the Treaty of Versailles. The country found themselves in economic crisis and increasingly unable to afford the hefty reparation payments.
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