Gold falls as trade optimism derails safe-haven demand

Gold falls on Friday, on track to break a three-session winning streak as stock markets hit record highs following comments from U.S. officials that progress was being made on the phase one trade agreement with China.

Spot gold was down 0.3 percent at $1,466.78 per ounce. U.S. gold futures settled down 0.3 percent at $1,468.50 per ounce.

“Overall trading gold has been impacted by the trade war and there is tremendous optimism with the final stages of getting stage one deal ratified,” said Edward Moya, a senior market analyst at OANDA. “This has been the biggest headwind for the global economy and a major de-escalation is derailing the safe-haven demand (for gold).”

Gold prices have gained more than 14 percent so far this year as the trade dispute between the world’s biggest economies roiled financial markets, stoking fears of a global economic slowdown and prompting major central banks to reduce interest rates.

Wall Street’s main indexes hit record highs at the open on upbeat comments related to U.S.-China trade talks and strong earnings.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said U.S.-China trade talks were set to continue with a telephone call on Friday as both sides seek to hammer out a phase one trade pact. Gold prices retreated from a near one-week peak hit on Thursday, but were still set for a weekly gain of about 0.6 percent.

“This week’s been a story of gold really trying to claw back some of the losses from the previous week, and it has done that to a degree, we are up from the lows from $1,450 and gold is attempting to get back above the 100-day moving average,” said Mitsubishi analyst Jonathan Butler.

“Next week we’ve got some interesting data – the manufacturing PMIs and FOMC meeting minutes coming out which will show whether there were any dissenting voices in U.S. Federal Reserve arguing for stronger set of rate cuts or whether the consensus was really for keeping the rates on hold.”

U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on Wednesday signalled no further cuts will occur unless there is a “material” change in the economic outlook.

Among other precious metals, silver fell 0.4 percent to $16.95 per ounce, but was on track for a gain of about 0.9 percent for the week. Platinum rose 1.2 percent to $891.19 per ounce and was set to register a rise of about 0.5 percent this week.

Palladium was down 1.4 percent at $1,713.11 per ounce, on course to fall for the second straight week at about 1.7 percent.

Source: Reuters