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Gold was down on Wednesday morning in Asia, but remained above the $1,800-mark. Investors digested a weaker-than-expected rise in U.S. inflation that added to uncertainty over the Federal Reserve’s timeline to begin asset tapering.
Gold futures edged down 0.14% to $1,804.65 by 12:24 AM ET (4:24 AM GMT) after hitting a one-week peak of $1,808.50 during the previous session. The dollar, which usually moves inversely to gold, inched up on Wednesday.
U.S. data released on Tuesday showed that the core consumer price index (CPI) grew 4% year-on-year and 0.1% month-on-month in August.
The monthly increase was the smallest gain in six months, suggesting that inflation could have reached its peak. However, it could remain high for a while amid persistent supply constraints.
The data also showed that the CPI grew 5.3% year-on-year and 0.3% month-on-month respectively.
With the weaker-than-expected data casting doubt on the U.S. Federal Reserve’s timeline to begin asset tapering, investors now await the central bank’s policy decision, due to be handed down next week.
Asian shares fell on Wednesday as weaker-than-expected Chinese economic data reinforced worries about slowing global growth, amid fraught nerves over pandemic-related business disruptions and central banks’ plans to taper stimulus.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dropped 0.61%, while Tokyo’s Nikkei shed 0.49%, moving off a more than 31-year closing-high the day before.
After the data, Chinese blue chips were down 0.73%, but pared earlier losses on hopes Beijing will roll out more stimulus.
However, futures indicated a steadier open for European and U.S. equity markets, with the pan-region Euro Stoxx 50 futures up 0.08% and FTSE futures 0.11% higher.
A burst of data out of China showed growth in its factory and retail sectors continued to falter in August with output and sales growth hitting one-year lows as fresh coronavirus outbreaks and supply disruptions threatened its economic recovery.
Efforts to develop an African base for COVID-19 vaccine production will focus on trying to replicate Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA)’s shot, but a lack of progress in talks with the U.S. company mean the project will take time, a senior WHO official told Reuters.
The drive to produce vaccines in Africa is designed to help more developing countries access COVID-19 shots after rich nations bought up most of this year’s supply.
Moderna said last October it would not enforce patents related to its shot during the pandemic, raising hopes that other companies might be able to copy it and help boost COVID-19 vaccine production.
In practice, though, it is hard to replicate a vaccine without the information on how it is made, and the World Health Organization-backed tech transfer hub in South Africa – set up in June to give poorer nations the know-how to produce COVID-19 vaccines – has so far not reached a deal with the company.
“The talks have not yielded any results,” Martin Friede, WHO Initiative for Vaccine Research coodinator, told Reuters.
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