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Gold rises as trade uncertainty hurts risk appetite

Spot gold had risen 0.6% to $1,465.18 per ounce by 1251 GMT. U.S. gold futures were 0.9% higher at $1,466.10.

Reuters|
Nov 13, 2019, 09.51 PM IST
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Gold prices gained on Wednesday on lack of clarity on the U.S.-China trade negotiations, keeping markets wary about the tariff war's toll on the health of the global economy.

Spot gold had risen 0.6% to $1,465.18 per ounce by 1251 GMT. U.S. gold futures were 0.9% higher at $1,466.10.

U.S. President Donald Trump said a trade deal was "close" but gave no new details on when or where an agreement would be signed, disappointing investors in what was billed as a major speech on his administration's economic policies.

He also rattled some investors by threatening China with even more tariffs if they do not sign a deal.

"Anything around (U.S.-China) trade talks are going to impact global sentiment... Protests in Hong Kong present major geopolitical risks, something that is going to continue fuelling risk aversion," said FXTM analyst Lukman Otunuga.

"The key concern is whether the U.S. would take a diplomatic stance with regards to Hong Kong. If the U.S. does make a move, it is going to link back to U.S.-China trade talks."

In recent weeks, both Beijing and Washington have hinted they were making progress toward an agreement that could likely scale back some tariffs, but a lack of information is starting to perturb markets.

Protests in Hong Kong continued to add to market jitters, as anti-government protesters planned to paralyse parts of the Asian financial hub for a third day, with transport, schools and many businesses closing after violence escalated across the city.

"We believe gold's recent weakness is primarily a result of cooling sentiment in the futures market and some selling by short-term speculators, trend followers and technical traders... Current weakness represents a buying opportunity in our view," Julius Baer analyst Carsten Menke said in a note.

The U.S. dollar was flat as investors awaited testimony from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell before a congressional committee at 1600 GMT.

Gold is highly sensitive to rising interest rates, which lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion. They also boost the dollar, in which the metal is priced.

Among other precious metals, palladium jumped 1.8% to $1,730.17 an ounce, while silver gained 1.2% to $16.98. Platinum was up 0.8% to $875.26 an ounce and set to end four straight sessions of declines.
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