NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters) - Gold steadied just above a 2018 low on Tuesday as the U.S. dollar fell from a five-month high, although risk appetite in the broader financial markets kept the metal’s gains in check.
The dollar lost momentum after a rally sparked by rising U.S. bond yields and the prospect of a resolution to U.S.-China trade tensions.
“Gold is tracking the dollar and the dollar is a little weaker today,” said Rob Haworth, senior investment strategist for U.S. Bank Wealth Management.
A weaker dollar makes dollar-priced gold cheaper for non-U.S. investors.
Spot gold was flat at $1,292.51 at 1:34 p.m. EDT (1734 GMT). U.S. gold futures for June delivery settled up $1.10, or 0.1 percent, at $1,292 per ounce.
“This quarter and maybe going into next, gold will continue to struggle but the (positive) views on the U.S. economy are overdone,” said Philip Newman, director at Metals Focus.
“There are concerns over sizeable U.S. debt, there’s the mid-term elections in November, there’s enough out there that could see the dollar eventually weaken and gold prices start to improve through the back end of this year.”
Capping gains in gold, European shares inched to a near four-month high as an easing of pressure on Italian markets coincided with China’s latest move to open its economy to the rest of the world.
Gold, regarded as a safe haven, tends to weaken when there is strong investor appetite for equities, which are seen as higher-risk assets.
Easing geopolitical tensions also weighed on gold prices, said Stephen Innes, APAC trading head at OANDA.
Gold investors are awaiting the release on Wednesday of the minutes of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s latest policy meeting.
Expectations that the Fed will raise U.S. interest rates again next month pressured gold. Higher rates tend to boost the dollar and bond yields, making non-yielding assets such as bullion less attractive.
Innes said any drop to somewhere around the $1,275 level would start to stir more bullish sentiment.
Demand for industrial metals platinum, palladium and silver rose after China said it would cut import duties on passenger cars and parts from July 1, U.S. Bank Wealth Management’s Haworth added.
Silver was up 0.5 percent at $16.57 an ounce, after touching an eight-day high of $16.67. Palladium gained 0.4 percent at $993.80 an ounce, earlier hitting an 11-day high, $1,006.00.
Platinum climbed 1.3 percent to $908 an ounce, after hitting a one-week high of $910.90.
Additional reporting by Karen Rodrigues and Apeksha Nair in Bengaluru; editing by David Stamp, Alexandra Hudson and Richard Chang