December 3, 2019 / 11:42 AM / 3 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold scales over 1-week peak on increasing global trade tensions

 (Updates prices)
    * China deal may be delayed until after U.S. elections -
    * Palladium may be bound for a correction - analyst
    * SPDR Gold holdings fall to lowest since Sept. 19
    * Specs cut bullish positions in gold, raise silver - CFTC

    By Diptendu Lahiri
    Dec 3 (Reuters) - Gold rose to its highest in more than a
week on Tuesday after U.S. President Donald Trump ratcheted up
trade tensions with China, Brazil and Argentina, pushing
investors to safe havens, while palladium held near a record
    Spot gold        was up 0.7% at $1,472.86 an ounce by 1330
GMT, after hitting its highest since Nov. 21 at 1,473.40 earlier
in the session. U.S. gold futures         were 0.7% higher at
$1,478.90 per ounce.
    "Credit goes to the tariff man (Donald Trump) for the
slightly higher movement we're seeing," said Saxo Bank commodity
strategist Ole Hansen.
    Trump on Monday announced tariffs on U.S. steel and
aluminium imports from Brazil and Argentina "effective
immediately", opening new fronts in his trade war.             
    The U.S. President also said a trade agreement with China
might have to wait until after the U.S. presidential election in
November 2020.                          
    "The effect of any news around the trade war is getting
lesser and lesser with each time we have one and there seems to
be no other catalyst on the horizon to break the narrow range,"
Hansen added.
    Gold has risen about 14% so far this year, mainly due to the
17-month-old trade dispute, but has been trading in a
$1,444-$1,478 range since November.
    Also propping up bullion, weak U.S. manufacturing data on
Monday dented some optimism over global economic growth after
China's factory activity unexpectedly expanded at the quickest
pace in almost three years in November.                         
    On the technical front, the metal continues to hold
rangebound heading into year-end, MKS PAMP said in a note.
    Gold is "seemingly well supported around $1,450 (but)
lacking any meaningful demand to break top-side resistance
through $1,465-$1,470 and $1,480, the key level above this," it
    Holdings of the world's largest gold-backed ETF, SPDR Gold
Trust      , fell 0.7% to 889.16 tonnes on Monday, their lowest
since Sept. 19.          
    Hedge funds and money managers cut their bullish positions
in COMEX gold and raised them in silver contracts in the week to
Nov. 26.        
    Elsewhere, palladium        edged down 0.2% to $1,848.38 per
ounce, having nearly matched an all-time peak of $1,861.71
scaled in the previous session.  
    "How high palladium can go depends on how much the carmakers
are willing to pay for steady supply of the metal," Saxo Bank's
Hansen said.
    "However, these multiple record highs may lead to a
correction soon, and we may see palladium hitting $1,800 before
it gets a chance to hit the $1,900 range." 
    Silver        rose 0.7% to $17.03 and platinum        was up
0.1% at $898.57 per ounce. 

 (Reporting by Diptendu Lahiri in Bengaluru
Editing by Alexandra Hudson and Jan Harvey)
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