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18 August 21

Gold Up, but COVID-19 Delta Variant Remains as ‘Elephant in the Room’

Gold was up on Wednesday morning in Asia. Investors turned towards the safe-haven yellow metal as increasing concerns about the latest COVID-19 outbreaks decreased their risk appetite.

Gold futures edged up 0.19% to $1,791.15 by 12:30 AM ET (4:30 AM GMT).

“The elephant in the room is this COVID-19 Delta variant and whether it does materially affect the global recovery. In that situation, gold is likely to find more haven buying,” Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst for Asia Pacific at OANDA, told Reuters.

In Asia Pacific, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand left its interest rate unchanged at 0.25% as it handed down its policy decision earlier in the day. New Zealand’s first local COVID-19 infection in six months forced the country into lockdown and put the brakes on the central bank’s plan to raise interest rates.

In other central bank news, the U.S. Federal Reserve will release the minutes from its July meeting later in the day. Investors will be searching for guidance on the Fed’s plans for asset tapering and interest rate hikes in the minutes.

Permira mandates Goldman Sachs for up to $2 billion sale of Tricor – sources

Private equity firm Permira has mandated Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) to run a sale of business services company Tricor Group in a deal that could fetch up to $2 billion, three people with knowledge of the transaction told Reuters.

The sale process is expected to kick off soon after an initial gauge of market interest, said one of the sources.

Permira is targeting a $2 billion valuation for the asset, although the price tag could range from $1.5 billion to $2 billion, said the people, who declined to be named as the information is confidential.

Hong Kong-headquartered Tricor, Permira and Goldman declined to comment.

Permira, headquartered in London, in 2016 won a bid to buy Tricor from Bank of East Asia (OTC:BKEAY) and NWS Holdings Ltd for HK$6.5 billion ($837.9 million).–sources-2592807

Dollar Down, but NZD Up as RBNZ Postpones Interest Rate Hikes

The dollar was down on Wednesday morning in Asia, while the New Zealand dollar (NZD) was up after the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) handed down its latest policy decision.

The U.S. Dollar Index that tracks the greenback against a basket of other currencies inched down 0.08% to 93.073 by 11:51 PM ET (3:51 AM GMT).

The USD/JPY pair inched up 0.05% to 109.62.

The AUD/USD pair was up 0.23% to 0.7265 and the NZD/USD pair was up 0.28% to 0.6943.

The USD/CNY pair inched down 0.03% to 6.4835 while the GBP/USD pair edged up 0.12% to 1.3756.

RNBZ kept its interest rate unchanged at 0.25% earlier in the day as it handed down its policy decision.
The central bank was forced to postpone its plans to hike interest rates as New Zealand went into lockdown following the first local COVID-19 infection in six months.

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