Gold firm as dollar, equities slip ahead of Trump-Xi meeting

Gold prices held firm on Thursday on the back of a weaker dollar as appetite for risky assets like equities waned ahead of a potentially tense meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart.

Spot gold was mostly unchanged at $1,254.06 per ounce by 0324 GMT. U.S. gold futures climbed as much as 1 percent to $1,260.80 and were last up 0.6 percent at $1,256.’

Investors were cautious ahead of the meeting between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping due later on Thursday, the first between the world’s two most powerful leaders.

Topping the agenda at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida will be whether he makes good on his threat to use U.S.-China trade ties to pressure Beijing to do more to rein in its nuclear-armed neighbour North Korea.

“Gold is bid partially because of the risk aversion and also because the dollar is at pressure against the yen,” said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA.

“But, it just hasn’t shown any ability to break the 200-day moving average and clearly shows that the price action is not being driven in isolation but has been driven by the U.S. dollar,” Halley said.

“It is kind of looking like gold is running out of steam in the short term.”

Lingering fears of a possible trade war kept Asian markets on edge.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, fell 0.1 percent to 100.470.

U.S. Federal Reserve’s March minutes on Wednesday showed most policymakers think the central bank should take steps to begin trimming its $4.5 trillion balance sheet later this year as long as the economic data holds up.

Falling equities, driven by the Fed’s hawkish tone, have supported gold and should prices decisively move above the 200-day moving average, more quantitative money could start coming in, said INTL FCStone analyst Edward Meir.

“A plethora of troubling geopolitical events, along with the upcoming French elections, still percolate in the background and have the capacity to provide an element of support to gold, at least over the short term.”

Spot gold may rise to $1,265 per ounce, as suggested by its wave pattern and a Fibonacci retracement analysis, Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao said.

Spot silver dropped 0.4 percent to $18.19 an ounce.

Platinum fell 0.6 percent at $953.75, while palladium rose 0.3 percent to $807.50. Palladium hit an over two-year high of $815.70 in the prior session.

Source: Reuters