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Gold Prices Little Changed amid Trump G7 Trade Threats

Gold shows little movement as G7 kicks off

Investing.com - Gold prices were little changed in mid-morning trade on Friday as investors looked forward to the start of the Group of Seven summit and digested a round of trade threats by U.S. President Donald Trump.

At 10:30AM ET (14:30GMT), gold futures for August delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange inched up 40 cents, or 0.03%, to $1,303.40 a troy ounce.

In a session with no major U.S. economic data, market participants will focus on trade tensions at the G7 meeting Friday in Quebec. The official welcome of leaders is scheduled for 11:45AM ET (15:45GMT) on in Quebec.

However, Trump was busy on Friday morning making trade threats at the other six members of the G7, setting an aggressive tone ahead of the meeting.

Having already accused France and Canada of charging the U.S. “massive tariffs”, tweeted that he was “looking forward to straightening out unfair trade deals with G7 countries”.

Laying out his agenda for the near future, Trump promised that the talks would “mostly center on the long time unfair trade practice practiced against the United States”.

In a news conference before heading to Quebec, Trump further renewed his {{news- 1486062||threat to withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement}} if no new deal was made.

Earlier on Friday, German economy minister Peter Altmaier called for Europe to remain unified in the face of rising trade tensions with the U.S., saying it was unclear how a summit of the Group of Seven rich nations would end.

French President Emmanuel Macron commented only that tensions were rising and noted that the G7 meeting will be “demanding”.

Traders will also keep a close eye on the upcoming June 12 summit between Trump and Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore. The U.S. President said Thursday he may sign an agreement to formally end the Korean War with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at their meeting. He also raised the possibility of later hosting the Kim at the White House.

Although Trump said he expected “great success”, he made clear that nothing was a done deal. He said the public would be able to follow the progress on talks by his language, specifying that a return to “maximum pressure” would indicate a breakdown of negotiations.

The outcome of tensions between the two countries would likely have a direct impact on the safe haven precious metal.

Also next week, market participants will closely follow monetary policy decisions by both the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank.

The Fed is widely expected to raise interest rates by 25 basis points and investors will be watching to see whether policymakers project one or two further hikes this year.

Higher interest rates tend to weigh on demand for gold, which doesn’t bear interest, in favor of yield-bearing investments.

Close attention will also be paid to the ECB meeting. While markets expect no action at next week’s meeting, ECB chief economist Peter Praet said Wednesday that officials are increasingly confident that inflation is rising back towards the bank’s target and will debate whether to begin gradually scaling back its asset purchase program.

The remarks have helped bolster the euro to a three-week high against the dollar. The corresponding weakness in the U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies and has traded lower for the last four sessions, has helped support gold prices as the precious metal becomes more affordable to holders of foreign currencies.

In other metals trading, silver futures slipped 0.1% at $16.800 a troy ounce by 10:31AM ET (14:31GMT).

Palladium futures dropped 0.3% to $1,006.20 an ounce, while sister metal platinum gained 0.5% at $905.10.

In base metals, copper traded up 0.6% to $3.296 a pound.

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