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Gold Hits 5-Month Low After New Vaccine Announcement

Author: Jon Clarke - Bullion & Economics Editor

Published: 23 Nov 2020

Last Updated: 23 Nov 2020

Synopsis

Gold dipped under £1,400 for the first time since June, after a new vaccine reports up to 90% efficacy.

credit: pixabay

UK Vaccine Announcement

The new vaccine, developed between Oxford University and AstraZeneca, showed that results from Phase III trials gave results between 62% and 90%. The trials themselves, involved different dosing regimens, with the most successful being an initial half-dose with a full dose given a month later. Another trial involved two full doses given a month apart, but this was only 62% effective.

The UK has ordered 100 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine with an expected rollout in the coming weeks, pending approval.

Competing Vaccines

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, announced nearly 2 weeks ago, is also said to be on order with 40 million doses expected to be received in early December. Precious metals took a similar dip at the time of the Pfizer announcement with gold dropping from £1,488.78 to £1,417.14 as the news gave hope of some return to normality after more than 8 months of lockdowns and travel restrictions.

One problem with the Pfizer vaccine is the necessity for it to be kept at temperatures of -70°C, which would make it more expensive. A similar vaccine produced by American pharma firm, Moderna has had similar success to Pfizer, but can be kept at temperatures closer to that of a regular freezer (-20°C). The Moderna jab may not be available in the UK until May 2021.

Limitations

The authors of the study have expressed concern that the trials may not be fully representative of the older population, as participants in the oldest age group had few underlying conditions.

The trial was temporarily halted after one UK participant had an adverse reaction, although this may not be linked to the trial. 

Market Responses

Gold prices took a beating following the vaccine news falling from its £1,410.10 close on Friday to £1,398.98 shortly after the UK market opened. Silver also fell from £18.20 to £18.00 during the same period.

The FTSE-100 which closed at 6,346.74 on Friday, rose quickly to 6,386.67 on opening.

Bitcoin has been growing sharply since October and is edging closer to its 2017 all-time high of £15,559.00. Currently, sits at £13,995.20 although it is not clear how much, if any, of its most recent rise is due to the vaccine news.  

Gold & Silver Price Charts

As of 4pm (23/11/20) gold stands at £1,380.73 per troy ounce, a 2.09% decrease since last week. Silver, likewise has fallen 3.18% to £17.65.

Further Reading

You might be interested in reading our precious metals and coin news articles.

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