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Gold Hits 2-Week Low; Silence on Trade Deal Becomes Risk Positive

Investing.com - Reading the U.S.-China negotiations have become as much of an art as parsing tea leaves, with any market likely to rise or dip depending on the reading. While oil prices rose on Monday, gold prices slipped, hitting more than two-week lows.

Gold futures for December delivery on New York’s COMEX settled down $6.70, or 0.5%, at $1,456.90 per ounce. The low for the session was $1,460.70. That's a bottom since Nov. 8.

Spot gold, which tracks live trades in bullion, was down $5.94, or 0.4%, at $1,456.10 by 3:00 PM ET (20:00 GMT).

“Gold today is pulling back (but) still within the expected $1450-$1500 range mostly due to optimistic remarks on China-US tariff deal,” said George Gero, precious metals analyst at RBC Wealth Management in New York.

Beijing and Washington were “very close” to an initial trade agreement, Chinese newspaper Global Times reported, citing experts close to the talks.

Adding to the positive mood was the weekend announcement that China would seek to improve protections for intellectual property rights, a sticking point in the talks. Intellectual property rights protection are "a key element the U.S. wants China to reform in order to reach a trade deal," Julius Baer analyst Carsten Menke suggested.

But not all were buying into the positive narrative on the trade negotiations.

“There is no major selling in the gold market, which might suggest that people are still sceptical about these developments,” Menke told Reuters. “They see them as some sort of temporary relief, not a real longer-term solution.”

The trade war is closing in on its 17th month with the domestic politics of both countries often shaping the narrative rather actual trade benefits.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday was that a phase one deal was “very close”, even as he continued to wag the additional-tariffs-by-December-15 stick at China.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, on his part, has pointed out that China was keen on a deal but will not be dictated by foreign powers and will fight back if necessary.

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