Gold prices hold steady ahead of crucial Brexit talks

Gold held steady below the $1,500 per ounce level on Tuesday as markets braced for talks between Britain and the European Union that will determine how smooth Britain’s departure will be from the trading bloc.

Spot gold were flat at $1,492.83 per ounce, as of 0105 GMT. U.S. gold futures were a shade lower at $1,496.90.

Asian shares edged higher on hopes that Britain could clinch a deal to smooth its departure from the European Union before the scheduled date of October 31.

Officials from Britain and the EU will meet at a make-or-break summit on Thursday and Friday that will determine whether or not Britain is headed for a so-called no-deal Brexit.

However, diplomats indicated the bloc wanted more concessions from British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and said a full agreement was unlikely this week.

Dearth of fresh news on U.S.-China trade talks kept markets on the edge.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Monday that an additional round of tariffs on Chinese imports will likely be imposed if a trade deal with China has not been reached by December, but added that he expected the agreement to go through.

Late on Friday, the United States outlined the first phase of a trade deal and suspended this week’s scheduled tariff hikes on Chinese goods, but existing tariffs remained in place and officials on both sides said much more work was needed before an accord could be agreed.

Markets also look for signs the U.S. Federal Reserve will cut interest rates at its next meeting later in the month.

Elsewhere, Australia’s Newcrest Mining, the country’s biggest gold producer, said on Tuesday it will go ahead with a $685 million first-stage expansion of its flagship Cadia mine in New South Wales.

Zimbabwe expects to increase diamond production to 11 million carats by 2023 from 3.2 million carats last year, the mines minister said on Monday, part of an ambitious plan to raise mining output and earn the country $12 billion a year.

Source: Reuters

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