October 16, 2019 / 4:33 PM / a month ago

PRECIOUS-Gold climbs, eyes U.S.-China ties; palladium bolts to record

* Palladium hits all-time high of $1,779.23

* Brexit summit in Brussels on Thursday and Friday

* SPDR Gold Holdings near 3-year highs (Updates prices)

By Asha Sistla

Oct 16 (Reuters) - Gold rose on Wednesday on concerns that Washington’s stance on Hong Kong could hamper trade negotiations between the United States and China and as investors awaited a key Brexit summit, but bullion’s gains were overshadowed by deficit-hit palladium as it again set a record.

Spot gold rose 0.5% to $1,488.84 per ounce as of 1:51 p.m. EDT (1751 GMT). U.S. gold futures settled up 0.7% to $1,494.

In a move that soured ties between the United States and China on Tuesday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed four pieces of legislation taking a hard line on Beijing, three related to pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, drawing opposition from China.

“A lot of people think this (U.S. legislation on Hong Kong) is going to hinder the negotiations with the tariffs (between U.S. and China), so again, when the tariffs are questionable, people run to gold,” said Michael Matousek, head trader at U.S. Global Investors.

Analysts are also wary of the outcome of the Brexit summit in Brussels on Thursday and Friday that will determine whether Britain is headed for a deal to leave the European Union on the due date, a disorderly no-deal exit or a delay.

Also helping gold, U.S. equity markets moved lower as traders’ worries about the legislation targeting Hong Kong offset positive earnings.

Investors also await the U.S. Federal Reserve meeting at the end of the month for clarity on further interest rate cuts.

Indicative of sentiment, holdings of the world’s largest gold-backed ETF, SPDR Gold Shares, fell on Tuesday to 919.66 tonnes, but held close to their highest level in nearly three years.

Elsewhere, palladium rose 1.9% to $1,766.16 an ounce, after hitting a record high of $1,779.23 earlier.

“The story with palladium is one of a continued supply/demand imbalance. We’ve had a global supply shortfall of palladium since 2012 and it doesn’t appear to be ending anytime soon,” said Gregory Leo, chief investment officer and head of Global Wealth Management at New York-based IDB Bank.

The metal, used in vehicle exhaust systems to reduce harmful emissions, has climbed about 40% so far this year on a sustained supply crunch.

However, U.S. Global Investors’ Matousek said palladium’s recent jump has been more technical than anything else.

“Same as gold, if anything is rallying the way it is, the trend looks great and people want to own it, bringing more momentum players into the trade. The driver behind is about 75% technical and 25% fundamental,” Matousek said.

Silver was steady at $17.38 per ounce, while platinum fell 0.3% to $886.12.

Reporting by Asha Sistla and Arpan Varghese in Bengaluru Editing by Alistair Bell and Steve Orlofsky

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