By Gina Lee
Gold futures were up 0.46% at $1,919.40 by 12:14 AM ET (4:14 AM GMT), while the greenback edged down on Monday morning, giving up earlier gains.
A fresh COVID-19 outbreak in Europe has already seen countries such as Greece and Denmark re-implement restrictive measures during the previous week. U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is also due to announce new restrictions on bars and restaurants later in the day, with fears that more lockdowns could be on the way.
Across the pond, U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said on Monday that the U.S. economy is improving but warned that there is a long way to go before a full recovery from COVID-19. Investors are also looking to Powell’s comments when he testifies before the House Select Subcommittee on COVID-19 on Wednesday.
Investor hopes that the U.S. will pass the latest round of stimulus measures before the U.S. presidential election are fading as a partisan battle to replace Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg starts to form. Although Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats released a stopgap government funding bill, it does not have the support of the White House or Senate Republicans.
Global stocks, which usually move inversely to gold, took a battering over a fresh banking scandal. Around 90 banks, including HSBC (HK:0005) and Standard Chartered (HK:2888), stand accused of moving over $2 trillion of reportedly illicit funds, despite concerns over their origins, between 1995 and 2017 after being implicated in a leak of more than 2,100 suspicious activity reports (SARs).