November 26, 2019 / 4:05 AM / 3 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold steadies on doubts over progress in U.S.-China trade talks

 (Updates prices)
    * Fed officials' outlook for U.S. economy favourable- Powell
    * U.S. consumer confidence data due at 1500 GMT
    * Palladium touches highest level in three weeks

    By Sumita Layek
    Nov 26 (Reuters) - Gold steadied on Tuesday, having
recovered from two-week lows as doubts resurfaced about the
progress of trade talks between China and the United States.
    Spot gold        was up 0.1% at $1,455.60 per ounce by 0813
GMT, close to its lowest since Nov. 12 hit earlier in the
session. U.S. gold futures         were down 0.1% at $1,455.40.
    Talks between the two countries have failed to materialise
previously, "so unless and until a deal is signed and sealed, we
will see gold consolidate only in a smaller range", said Ajay
Kedia, director at Kedia Advisory in Mumbai.
    Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, U.S. Trade representative
Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin held a
phone call on issues related to a "phase one" agreement, but a
lack of clarity hit investors' confidence.
    Also, recent bills passed by the United States supporting
anti-government protesters in Hong Kong remain a point of
contention between Washington and Beijing.             
    "There hasn't been much substantial detail other than they
(the United States and China) are working very closely, and
besides the U.S., other parts of the world are still showing
slow economic growth, so gold will still be supported," Phillip
Futures analyst Benjamin Lu said.
    Gold, considered a safe asset in times of political and
economic uncertainty, has gained more than 13% this year, mainly
due to the tariff dispute and its impact on global economic
    U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said on Monday
officials had a favourable outlook for the U.S. economy.
    However, weak global growth and trade uncertainty are
holding back growth and they will "respond accordingly" if
economic data leads to a "material reassessment" of their
outlook, Powell said. 
    The central bank cut interest rates three times this year
before pausing. Lower rates reduce the opportunity cost for
holders of bullion, an asset that yields no interest.
    Under investors' radar now is U.S. consumer confidence data
due at 1500 GMT.    
    Elsewhere, silver        was unchanged at $16.90 per ounce,
after touching a one-week low.
    Palladium        rose 1% to $1,814.23 per ounce, having hit
its highest since Nov. 4, and platinum        gained 0.2% to

 (Reporting by Sumita Layek in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh
Kuber, Subhranshu Sahu and Dale Hudson)
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