December 19, 2019 / 8:45 AM / 2 months ago

Gold listless as markets look past trade talks, impeachment

(Reuters) - Gold held steady in a narrow range on Thursday as investors awaited further developments on U.S.-China trade and as political uncertainty in Washington failed to move markets across the board.

FILE PHOTO: A one kilo gold bar is displayed in a shop in Dubai's gold souk, April 11, 2006. REUTERS/Tamara Abdul Hadi/File Photo

Spot gold edged 0.1% higher to $1,476.28 per ounce as of 11:07 a.m. ET (1607 GMT). U.S. gold futures gained 0.1% to $1,480.30 per ounce.

“The market is on hold waiting for the next piece of impetus,” said David Meger, director of metals trading at High Ridge Futures.

“There is an acceptance by the market that this trade deal is officially signed and also that there isn’t going to be any quick jump (from either side) ... Changes in that expectation will see changes in the market.”

China on Thursday announced a new list of import tariff exemptions for six chemical and oil products from the United States, days after the world’s two largest economies announced an interim trade deal.

The 17-month long trade dispute has triggered a 15% rise in gold prices in the year, and fanned global recessionary fears.

Gold is often used by investors as a hedge against political and economic uncertainties.

“The safe-haven metal bulls have shown resilience recently, amid the keener risk appetite that has been prevalent in the market place the past few weeks — evidenced by U.S. stock indexes near record highs,” said Kitco Metals senior analyst Jim Wyckoff in a note.

Investors also kept a close eye on political proceedings in Washington, where the Democratic-led House of Representatives formally charged President Donald Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress in a historic step that will inflame partisan tensions across a deeply divided America.

However, the Republican-controlled Senate is widely expected not to convict Trump and remove him from office.

If the U.S. Senate convicts Trump, “which would be unexpected, that throws next year’s election into a very uncertain place,” Ilya Spivak, a senior currency strategist at DailyFx said, adding the resultant aversion toward riskier assets could benefit gold.

Among other precious metals, palladium eased 0.1% to $1,921.62 an ounce, and was far from Tuesday’s peak of$1,998.43.

Platinum dropped 0.3% to $932.55 an ounce, while silver was unchanged at $17.01.

Reporting by Karthika Suresh Namboothiri and Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru

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