November 26, 2019 / 6:40 AM / 3 months ago

Gold edges off two-week lows as Sino-U.S. trade caution lingers

(Reuters) - Gold prices edged higher from a two-week low hit earlier on Tuesday, as equities retreated from multi-year highs, with investors awaiting more details on the imminent trade agreement between the United States and China.

FILE PHOTO: Gold bars and granules are displayed in the Austrian Gold and Silver Separating Plant Oegussa in Vienna June 2, 2009. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger/File Photo

Spot gold was up 0.2% at $1,457.77 an ounce as of 10:36 a.m. ET (1536 GMT). U.S. gold futures was up 0.1% at $1,457.70.

Gold earlier touched its lowest since Nov. 12 at $1,450.30, having posted losses in the previous four sessions.

“The only story here is the China-U.S. (trade deal). Last few sessions gold has been selling off on hopes for a U.S.-China deal. Right now, gold is paused here and is in kind off wait-and-see (mode),” said Bob Haberkorn, senior market strategist at RJO Futures.

China’s Vice Premier Liu He, U.S. Trade representative Robert Lighthizer and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin discussed issues related to the phase one agreement on Tuesday, China’s commerce ministry said.

“The talk on the streets is that the phase one deal is going to be a non-event. People believe that there would be a deal but very little substance in it,” said Michael Matousek, head trader at U.S. Global Investors.

“The market is going to be wandering around aimlessly for another week or two, until we get more information out of the Federal Reserve coming into December and the China trade deal.”

However, despite optimism in the market for a conclusion to the protracted trade war between the world’s two largest economies, analysts believe that gold is going to remain bullish in the longer term.

Speculators increased their bullish positions in COMEX gold and silver in the week to Nov. 19, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said on Friday.

“The reason why you are seeing CFTC positions increasing is because people are looking long term and are worried about equities being too hot right now,” Haberkorn said.

“They are concerned about a large sell-off in equities with how high they have got so fast.”

Global equities edged off their highest in almost two years, but kept record levels in sight.

Safe-haven bullion has gained over 13% so far this year.

Elsewhere, silver was up 0.6% at $16.99 per ounce.

Palladium inched up 0.1% to $1,798.59, having earlier touched its highest since Nov. 4, while platinum gained 0.6% to $902.12 .

Reporting by K. Sathya Narayanan in Bengaluru; Editing by Marguerita Choy

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