Gold drops as Brexit, China-U.S. trade fears ease

Gold fell on Friday, and was en route its second biggest weekly decline this year, as easing concerns around the U.S.-China trade conflict and Britain’s exit from the European Union renewed appetite for riskier assets.

Spot gold fell 0.7 percent to $1,483.59 per ounce. U.S. gold futures slid 0.9 percent to settle at $1,488.20.

“The U.S. and China appear to be close to reaching, at least, a partial agreement on trade and that’s lifting investors sentiment (for riskier assets). That’s a negative for safe-haven assets including gold,” Jim Wyckoff, senior analyst with Kitco Metals.

Investors expect the top-level talks between the two sides to result in a partial trade deal, which both sides would agree in order to dial down the 15-month dispute and delay a U.S. tariff hike scheduled for next week.

“There are reports that the UK and the EU may be making some progress on a Brexit that won’t be a hard Brexit and that’s lifting European spirit so all that is working against the gold market,” Wyckoff added.

Gold denominated in sterling slid about 2.5 percent to 1,168.35 pounds an ounce.

A Brexit deal could be clinched by the end of October to allow the UK to leave the EU in an orderly fashion, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said after what he called a very positive meeting with Boris Johnson.

Gold is often used as a hedge against political and economic uncertainties.

Meanwhile, analysts said that gold still looks bullish both fundamentally and technically, in the longer term.

“I don’t see a massive sell-off in gold on the back of a trade deal if there is one. It would actually be positive in (the) long term,” said Fawad Razaqzada, market analyst with Forex.com.

“If China gets a deal, Chinese demand for gold should rise as it is the largest gold consumer in the world.”

Among other precious metals, palladium fell 0.4 percent to $1,693.25 an ounce, after scaling a record peak of $1,705.84 earlier in the day.

“The fundamentals project a shortfall of supply of palladium to the market going forward and the physical availability is tight at the moment,” a New York based analyst said, adding positive trade developments are further supporting the metal.

Palladium is used by the auto sector and oil refineries because of its catalytic properties.

Source: Reuters

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