Gold prices were steady early Thursday, after gaining for two straight sessions, as the dollar extended losses versus the yen.
Spot gold was up 0.1 percent at $1,214.92 an ounce at 0111 GMT, having gained 0.2 percent in the previous session. U.S. gold futures were up 0.1 percent at $1,222.4 an ounce.
The yen was broadly higher on Thursday on trade tensions and on revelations the Bank of Japan is under pressure to move away from its accommodative policy, while the New Zealand dollar slid on a decidedly dovish policy stance by the nation’s central bank.
Asian shares were subdued on Thursday after a new round of tit-for-tat tariffs in the U.S.-Sino trade conflict torpedoed oil prices, while the Russian ruble tumbled as the U.S. slapped fresh sanctions on the country.
China is putting additional tariffs of 25 percent on $16 billion worth of U.S. imports from fuel and steel products to autos and medical equipment, the Chinese commerce ministry said, as the world’s largest economies escalated their trade dispute.
China’s exports surged more than expected in July despite U.S. duties and its closely watched surplus with the United States remained near record highs, as the world’s two major economic powers ramp up a bitter dispute that some fear could derail global growth.
Washington said on Wednesday it would impose fresh sanctions on Russia by the end of August after it determined that Moscow had used a nerve agent against a former Russian agent and his daughter in Britain.
The United States is “not willing to wait for too long” for North Korea to take steps toward denuclearization, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said on Wednesday.
The U.S. economy is strong enough to warrant further interest rate increases by the Federal Reserve, Richmond Fed President Thomas Barkin said on Wednesday.
Private consumption in the euro zone has further room to grow, likely driving economic expansion even as external headwinds multiply, the European Central Bank said in an economic bulletin on Wednesday.
SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.18 percent to 786.08 tonnes on Wednesday from 787.53 tonnes on Tuesday.