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Gold dips as dollar gains, trade deal hopes lift stocks

Reuters

Gold prices fell on Tuesday, as the dollar recovered slightly from lows and hopes for a trade deal between China and the United States whetted risk appetite, making bullion less attractive. Spot gold slipped 0.5 percent to $1,282.15 per ounce as of 1303 GMT. U.S. gold futures were also 0.5 percent lower at $1,283.90 per ounce.

The dollar index was 0.2 percent higher against its peers, having dropped to its lowest since Oct. 22 in the previous session. “At the moment the dollar is recovering, which is one of the reasons gold prices are lower,” said ABN AMRO analyst Georgette Boele. “At the same time, markets are nervous ahead of discussions going on between U.S. and China.” Stock markets were trading higher as investors anticipated that the Chinese-U.S. trade spat was nearing a close and that the U.S. Federal Reserve would halt its monetary policy tightening if economic growth slows further.

As Washington and Beijing resumed talks, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Monday the two biggest economies could reach a trade deal. “Any kind of agreement should be bullish for gold because of a stronger Chinese renminbi,” said Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch. “Gold is in positive environment. It had such a strong year-end, it is not surprising to see some profit taking,” he said.

Dollar-denominated gold has gained about 11 percent since hitting a more than 1-1/2 year low in mid-August. Bullion prices hit their highest since June 2018 at $1,298.42 on Friday. Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, saw some outflows on Monday. But holdings are still at their highest since August 2018. “ETF demand has been one of the primary drivers of the move higher for gold over the past month or so and is still continuing to increase,” MKS PAMP Group traders said in a note.

“This has been mainly apparent in U.S. and UK based funds amid uncertainty on growth and Brexit risks,” they said. In other precious metals, palladium fell 1.2 percent to $1,284.49 per ounce, after hitting a record high of $1,313.24 in the previous session. The metal was trading at a premium to gold. Silver edged 0.3 percent lower to $15.59 per ounce, while platinum fell 0.6 percent to $817, having hit its highest in more than a month at $831.10 on Monday.