Gold prices edged higher on Monday amid speculation that Russian President Putin’s generals are feeling the pressure to deliver some sort of results ahead of May 9, when Russia marks Victory Day.
Spot gold rose half a percent to $1,956.98 per ounce, while U.S. gold futures were up 0.7 percent at $1,958.60.
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged Western leaders, in particular President Joe Biden, to do more as Russia appointed a new military commander and looked to concentrate its attacks on the eastern part of the country.
Risk-off sentiment in equity markets amid concerns about inflation and a worsening coronavirus outbreak in Shanghai also bolstered the precious metal’s safe-haven appeal.
China’s largest Covid-19 outbreak in two years continues to spread despite an extended lockdown of Shanghai’s 25 million people.
The financial hub reported over 26,000 new cases on Sunday, a new record despite repeated mass testing.
With China maintaining its COVID Zero strategy, investors fear that there will be consequences for global growth, supply chains and inflation.
The U.S. consumer price index is due on Tuesday, with economists expecting a rise of 8.5 percent on year.
Core inflation is seen rising to 6.6 percent from 6.4 percent in February, which would be the highest reading since 1982.
The European Central Bank is set to hold its latest policy-setting meeting on Thursday. Amid record-high inflation, investors are waiting to see whether policymakers will issue any guidance on future monetary policy.
The ECB’s dilemma has been complicated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and Western sanctions against Moscow.