Gold prices edge up ahead of US-Sino trade talks

Gold prices edged higher for a second session early on Thursday ahead of much awaited U.S.-China trade talks, where a breakthrough deal is viewed as highly unlikely.

Spot gold rose 0.4 percent to $1,309.51 per ounce at 0142 GMT. U.S. gold futures for June delivery rose 0.4 percent to $1,310.4 per ounce.

Tense U.S.-China trade talks between U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He are due to kick off later on Thursday.

The most likely outcome is an agreement to keep talking, with U.S. President Donald Trump maintaining his threat to press ahead with punitive tariffs on Chinese goods, trade experts say.

China would welcome a successful outcome from upcoming trade talks with the U.S., but is fully prepared for all outcomes and will not negotiate on core interests, a Chinese government official said on Wednesday.

Asian shares were subdued on Thursday ahead of the trade talks, while the U.S. dollar consolidated recent bumper gains after the Federal Reserve reaffirmed the outlook for more rate hikes this year.

The Federal Reserve held interest rates steady on Wednesday and expressed confidence that a recent rise in inflation to near the U.S. central bank’s target would be sustained, leaving it on track to raise borrowing costs in June.

Trump has all but decided to withdraw from the 2015 Iran nuclear accord by May 12 but exactly how he will do so remains unclear, two White House officials and a source familiar with the administration’s internal debate said on Wednesday.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Wednesday the European Union will not accept threats in talks with the United States to secure a permanent exemption from U.S. import tariffs on steel and aluminium.

A lawyer acting for nearly half a million South African miners who contracted fatal lung diseases silicosis and tuberculosis in mines said an out-of-court settlement was expected to be signed on Thursday with gold companies implicated in the issue.

Source: Reuters