Gold climbs as Brexit uncertainty spurs safe-haven bid

Gold rose on Wednesday after shedding nearly 1 percent in the previous session, as it remained unclear if Britain could avoid postponing its departure from the European Union beyond October 31.

Spot gold was up 0.2 percent at $1,484.49 per ounce as of 0130 GMT. U.S. gold futures were 0.3 percent higher at $1,488.10 per ounce.

Asian shares were upbeat as Britain and the EU made headway on a Brexit deal ahead of a leaders’ summit. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 0.3 percent.

Last-ditch talks between Britain and the European Union to get a Brexit deal ahead of a summit of the bloc’s leaders this week went on past midnight to Wednesday, but it was still unclear if London could avoid postponing its departure due on October 31.

Media reports quoting EU officials as saying negotiators were close to a Brexit deal triggered a late afternoon rally across equity markets on Tuesday.

Across the Atlantic, the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday passed four pieces of legislation taking a hard line on China, three related to pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong and one commending Canada’s government in a dispute over the extradition of an executive from Huawei Technologies.

Reports of a “Phase 1” trade deal between the United States and China last week had initially cheered markets but the dearth of details around the agreement has since curbed this enthusiasm.

With two weeks to go until their next policy meeting, U.S. central bankers appear unconvinced a partial U.S.-China trade deal is enough to dispel the policy uncertainty that has weighed on economic growth for months.

SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.22 percent on Tuesday from Monday.

Palladium eased on Wednesday to $1,732.56 per ounce after hitting a record high of $1,739.93 in the previous session.

Source: Reuters