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Gold Edges Higher on US-China Trade Hiccups

October 14, 2019 at 12:57 by Andrew Moran

Gold futures are edging higher to kick off the trading week, following new reports that the first phase of the US-China trade deal has already hit a snag. Beijing wants to further discuss the arrangement, while Washington is warning of future tariff hikes. The initial optimism on Friday has already diminished, affecting global financial markets.

December gold futures rose $8.50, or 0.57%, to $1,497.20 per ounce at 12:43 GMT on Monday on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Friday, the yellow posted its lowest finish so far in October and recorded a weekly decline of 1.6%. Still, gold has advanced 16.5% so far this year.

Silver, the sister commodity to gold, is also rising on Monday. November silver futures tacked on $0.055, or 0.32%, to $17.60 an ounce. The white metal did squeak out a tepid weekly jump of 0.5% last week, raising its year-to-date gains to 13%.

On Friday, global financial markets celebrated that the US and China had finally achieved something after 18 months and 13 rounds of trade negotiations, retaliation, and posturing. The world’s two largest economies stated that they have reached the first phase of a comprehensive trade agreement, which will take weeks to write and slated to sign in mid-November in Chile. The first phase involves greater agricultural acquisitions, heightened intellectual property, and China opening its domestic markets to more foreign banks and other financial services providers.

The celebrations ended prematurely after Beijing stated that it is interested in taking a second look at the first phase. Investors that this might be the beginning of the end of the trade truce. Traders’ concerns were further heightened when Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that he thinks the planned tariff hikes on nearly all Chinese goods will go in effect if a trade deal is not agreed upon.

Investors will now pay attention to a summit between Great Britain and the European Union later this week. Reports suggest that the meeting will be key because the trade bloc wants greater concessions from Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who said that a full agreement was unlikely to happen on Friday.

In other metal markets, November copper futures slipped $0.02, or 0.82%, to $2.6065 per pound. November platinum futures edged up $2.80, or 0.31%, to $903.10 per ounce. December palladium futures tumbled $8.10, or 0.49%, to $1,662.00 an ounce.

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