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Gold Back at $1500 as China Trade Bogeyman Returns

By Barani Krishnan

Investing.com - Halloween can spook in more ways than one. Talk of renewed trouble in U.S.-China trade negotiations not only scared away oil bulls on Thursday, but also forced gold bears into retreat, bringing the yellow metal back into the much-watched $1,500 space.

It was an unexpected rebound for both gold futures and bullion after the Federal Reserve cut rates as anticipated on Wednesday without saying if it will do more.

Gold futures for December delivery on COMEX settled up $18.10, or 1.2%, at $1,514.80 per ounce in the latest session. It rose 0.4% the previous day before slipping into negative territory in post-settlement trade as speculation grew that the Fed was done with rate cuts for 2019.

Spot gold, which tracks live trades in bullion, was up $16.03, or 1.1%, at $1,511.79 by 3:03 PM ET (19:03 GMT).

“The risk-off tone amid less optimistic trade headlines is helping provide an additional boost,” TD Securities said in a note on gold.

While China and the United States appeared to be getting close to signing a partial, or “phase one”, trade agreement, Chinese officials were still doubtful about reaching a comprehensive long-term trade deal with their U.S. counterparts, Bloomberg reported on Thursday.

In private conversations with visitors to Beijing and other interlocutors in recent weeks, Chinese officials have warned they won’t budge on the thorniest issues, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.

“They remain concerned about President Donald Trump’s impulsive nature and the risk he may back out of even the limited deal both sides say they want to sign in the coming weeks,” the report said.

Fawad Razaqzada, a technical analyst for gold at forex.com, said it remains to be seen whether gold could break higher with Wall Street’s S&P 500 index still not too far from this week’s record highs.

The U.S. jobs report for October, due on Friday, could also have a big say on where bond yields, the dollar and safe havens such as gold were headed, Razaqzada said.

“So, it may well be yields and the dollar which could determine whether gold can finally break out of its consolidation,” he said.

“Following this week’s central banks bonanza, bond yields are falling back. Investors are realising that interest rates will remain at historically low levels for a sustained period of time, due to a slowing global economy,” Razaqzada added. “Against this backdrop, safe-haven gold prices remain fundamentally supported.”

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