US Markets

Gold treads water as trade caution stymies safe-haven demand

Credit: REUTERS/UMIT BEKTAS

Gold prices were little changed on Thursday as investors maintained a cautious stance amid signs of a delay in Washington and Beijing signing a long-awaited interim trade deal.

By Sumita Layek

Nov 7 (Reuters) - Gold prices were little changed on Thursday as investors maintained a cautious stance amid signs of a delay in Washington and Beijing signing a long-awaited interim trade deal.

Spot gold XAU= was trading at $1,491.27 per ounce, as of 0337 GMT, while U.S. gold futures GCv1 were flat at $1,492.9 per ounce.

A senior official of the Trump administration told Reuters on Wednesday a meeting between U.S. and Chinese leaders to sign an interim trade deal could be delayed until December as discussions continue over terms and venue.

"It (delay in U.S.-China trade deal) has added a bit of caution. Trade talks are going to go ahead and at the same time, the complicated issues in the deal have not yet been discussed, so the investors are in wait-and-see-mode," said John Sharma, an economist with National Australia Bank.

"At the moment, there is not much to change it (gold's direction), we will have to wait for some external factors, either geopolitical or economic to push it out of the range."

A tit-for-tat tariff war between the world's two biggest economies for the past 16 months have roiled financial markets and raised fears of a global economic slowdown, helping the safe-haven bullion to rise more than 16% this year.

The dollar index .DXY, which has eased about 1.5% against a basket of rival currencies so far this week, made gold cheaper for investors holding other currencies, while Asian shares paused near multi-month peaks. MKTS/GLOBUSD/

"Sentiments are that some kind of deal will get done, also the Federal Reserve have said that they are not looking to do anything more this year (with interest rates), that is why gold is not reacting much," Brian Lan of Singapore dealer GoldSilver Central said.

Last month, the Fed cut interest rates for the third time this year to help sustain U.S. growth despite a slowdown in other parts of the world, but signalled there would be no further reductions unless the economy takes a turn for the worse.

Lower interest rates reduce the opportunity cost for holding the non-yielding gold.

Gold will trade in a range of $1,482-$1,518 an ounce in the short term, Lan said.

Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund on Wednesday slashed euro zone growth forecasts.

Elsewhere, silver XAG= rose 0.1% to $17.63 per ounce. Platinum XPT= was unchanged at $929.35 per ounce and palladium XPD= dipped 0.2% to $1,788.86 per ounce.

(Reporting by Sumita Layek and Diptendu Lahiri in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

((Sumita.Layek@thomsonreuters.com; Within U.S. +1 646 223 8780, Outside U.S. +91 8067491638; Reuters Messaging: Sumita.Layek.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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