Kitco/Anna Golubova
Russia’s gold reserves surpass its U.S. dollar holdings for first time, says country’s central bank

The value of Russian gold in its forex reserves has surpassed the country’s U.S. dollar holdings for the first time, said Russia’s central bank.

The country’s total gold reserves as part of the foreign exchange holdings were up at 22.9% as of June 30, 2020, according to Russia’s central bank data. In comparison, the U.S. dollar holdings declined to 22.2%.

Gold holdings now total $128.5 billion versus the $124.6 billion held in U.S. dollars, the central bank said on Monday.

The euro holdings also shrank to 29.5%, and the holdings of the Chinese yuan were down to 12.2%. These statistics are published with a six-month lag.

Russia has stopped buying gold back in April, with total holdings remaining at 73.9 million ounces. The reason for the increase in the value of gold reserves comes from the increase in the price of gold, which ended 2020 up 25%.

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Fox Business/Charles Creitz
Navarro: Biden administration will ‘reverse-engineer’ Trump’s success, cause stagflation

White House trade and economic adviser Peter Navarro predicted Friday that Joe Biden will “reverse-engineer” President Trump’s successes and cause social and economic turmoil, as well as potential long-term stagflation.

“Making Money” host Charles Payne asked Navarro what he predicts will happen to Trump’s legacy with Democrats holding the White House and both houses of Congress.

“Charles, I think you just have to reverse-engineer what President Trump did to understand that we’re going to be in deep trouble,” Navarro answered. “The way that President Trump was able to restart the manufacturing base with the corporate tax cut that brought money and investment onshore; deregulation, which basically enhanced the global competitiveness of manufacturing; cheap energy [which] basically unleashed strategic dominance in the energy sector. Again, that helped businesses.

“What we can expect from a Biden administration is to unwind that, basically reverse-engineer it, and what that will mean is we will go ‘back to the future’ of the Obama administration from 2008 to 2016, where we had very slow growth. I think it’s going to be worse.”Payne noted that the U.S. economy lost 140,000 jobs in December, adding that many people lost their livelihoods not due to the federal government, but “draconian” shutdown orders from governors in places like Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and California.”

“I think [there are] two things that Joe Biden is going to have trouble with [in] his own party,” Navarro predicted. “One is this tendency toward lockdowns. That’s something that the president fought strongly against. But the other is the teachers’ unions and this move essentially to stay home. That’s a snowball effect, because not only are you depriving the children themselves of key elements of education at a key, important time, but you are saddling the parents at home, making it difficult for them to get back in the workforce.

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Reuters/Sumita Layek
Gold rises as rally in U.S. dollar, Treasury yields hits brakes

Gold prices edged up on Wednesday as the dollar pulled back and the U.S. Treasury yields traded lower, while the outlook of a massive U.S. fiscal stimulus further boosted the metal’s appeal as an inflation hedge.

Spot gold rose 0.2% to $1,858.56 per ounce by 0255 GMT, while U.S. gold futures gained 0.9% to $1,860.10.

“The big picture is it’s still a very constructive year for gold. With real yields remaining rather negative and as the dollar continues its path lower as the year unfolds, making gold an attractive proposition,” said IG Market analyst Kyle Rodda.

“But I wouldn’t be surprised if we see dips or a short-term downtrend in gold as the U.S. dollar balances out.”

Benchmark 10-year Treasury yields fell from 10-month highs, dragging the dollar lower and making gold cheaper for other unit holders.

Further boosting gold was U.S. President-elect Joe Biden’s plan to inject the virus-hit economy with “trillions” of dollars in relief measures.

Global coronavirus infections rose to more than 91 million, with several Asian and European countries enforcing stricter restrictions to curb the spread of the virus, while vaccination rates remained underwhelming.

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CNBC/Melissa Repko
Walmart customers don’t expect a speedy economic recovery, top executive says

Walmart Chief Customer Officer Janey Whiteside said Tuesday that many of its shoppers don’t expect the economy to quickly bounce back from the coronavirus pandemic.

Almost half of customers surveyed in November told Walmart that they were worried about the current health of the economy, she said when speaking at the virtual National Retail Federation conference. She said 40% said they didn’t expect “any kind of speedy recovery.”

“Our core Walmart customer is absolutely not immune to the economic slowdown, in fact may even be disproportionately impacted,” she said, noting that the pandemic has bifurcated society as it’s hit some industries like hospitality and not others.

Walmart’s sales and earnings have risen during the pandemic, as customers have turned to its more than 4,700 U.S. stores and its website for groceries, hair color, puzzles and more. Its same-store sales rose by 6.4% and its U.S. e-commerce sales soared by 79% year over year in the fiscal third quarter ended Oct. 31. The company has not yet reported its fourth-quarter earnings, which include the holiday shopping season.

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