Last week, gold retraced back to the support line of the “pennant formation” it had broken out of the previous week, coming back to its 50-day and 200-day moving averages. The metal closed the week at $1,785.50 per ounce. On Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving that starts the Christmas retail season, sales were down by 28% from pre-pandemic levels. Gold Futures Contracts—Daily What made this a Black Friday in the bad sense was the World Health Organization’s announcement about a new “variant of concern,” the ominous-sounding omicron variant. The reason this caused so much alarm worldwide is that the new variant—which has been detected in South Africa, Botswana, Belgium, and Hong Kong—has a high number of mutations which “could make it more transmissible and result in immune evasion,” reports CNN . In response, many countries, including the U.S. and the U.K., cut off air flights from several South African countries. The prospect of new lockdowns hitting already damaged economies across the globe caused the U.S. stock market to plunge. Gold, in addition to being a hedge against high inflation, has also been a “haven” in times like these. Investors may want to consider increasing their allocation. Rick Andrews is president of Avant Capital Management.