Gold rose on Wednesday after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to raise tariffs on Chinese imports if no deal is reached with Beijing and as the U.S. Senate passed a bill backing human rights in Hong Kong.
Spot gold rose 0.1 percent to $1,473.98 per ounce by 0341 GMT. U.S. gold futures was flat at $1,474.40 per ounce.
The U.S. Senate also passed a second legislation to ban export of certain munitions to Hong Kong police forces. China condemned the moves and said Washington should stop interfering.
Trump on Tuesday threatened an escalation of the U.S.-China trade spat that has damaged economic growth worldwide.
“There are concerns that the latest bill passed in the U.S. in support of the Hong Kong protesters might derail the progress in the U.S.-China trade deal,” Ilya Spivak, a senior currency strategist at DailyFx said.
However, gains in gold are limited as investors are “not quite prepared to take a firm bet ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s minutes, which will probably confirm that the Fed is on hold for now and that’s not good news for gold,” Spivak added.
Investors are awaiting minutes from the Fed’s October policy meeting, due at 1900 GMT, for further cues on the monetary policy outlook.
The U.S. central bank cut interest rates thrice this year to help sustain U.S. growth, but had signaled last month that there would be no further cuts unless the economy takes a turn for the worse.
Lower interest rates reduce the opportunity cost for holding the non-yielding bullion.
Asian shares moved lower on conflicting messages on the trade front, in contrast to the strong rallies seen recently in global equities markets.
“The precious metal, though facing bearish pressures over a strong rally in the equities market, will remain vigorous over subdued global growth and geopolitical uncertainties in the fourth quarter,” Phillip Futures analyst Benjamin Lu said in a note.
In Hong Kong, the last band of anti-government protesters trapped inside a besieged Hong Kong university were weighing a narrowing range of options as police outside appeared ready to simply wait them out.
Spot gold may rise into a range of $1,480-$1,485 per ounce, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.
Elsewhere, silver was unchanged at $17.14 per ounce, while palladium fell 0.1 percent to $1,760.80 per ounce.
Platinum was down 0.6 percent to $904.52 per ounce.