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Gold Jumps on Brewing Geopolitical Risks, Economic Uncertainty

December 23, 2019 at 18:19 by Andrew Moran

Gold futures are recording modest gains to kick off the trading week, propelled by fresh geopolitical risks and global economic uncertainty. Analysts seem to suggest that traders may be bracing for a new fallout between China and the US on the trade front as investors are still waiting for the first phase of an agreement to be signed by both countries.

February gold futures rose $6.90, or 0.47%, to $1,487.80 per ounce at 16:56 GMT on Monday on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The yellow metal squeaked out a tepid gain of 0.4% last week, adding to the 15.8% year-to-date surge.

Silver, the sister commodity to gold, is rallying to start the holiday-shortened trading week. March silver futures soared $0.265, or 1.53%, to $17.485 an ounce. The white metal advanced 2.2% last week, lifting its annual gains above the 12% mark.

Markets seem to be keeping an eye on some developments unfolding around the world. For instance, there have been massive demonstrations in India over a new citizenship law. This has impacted bullion retail buying. Although it has not affected financial markets in any way, the impeachment of President Donald Trump is also piquing the interest of investors. China and Hong Kong are still engaged in bitter disputes.

The consensus on The Street is that a US-China phase one deal will likely happen, but there is still some room for caution. President Trump assured investors that the countries would “very shortly” sign phase one, while Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin revealed that the administration is going through a technical review of the deal and will make details public next week. If there are any issues, then gold prices could skyrocket because investors would lose faith in future trade negotiations.

Meanwhile, on the data front, the Canadian economy unexpectedly slipped 0.1% in October, the Chinese economy is expanding at its slowest pace in 30 years, and orders for American capital goods were essentially flat.

The US dollar did pare its gains on Monday, but the currency is still up 0.01% to 97.7, from an opening of 97.67. A stronger buck is bad for dollar-denominated commodities because it makes it more expensive for foreign investors to purchase.

Heading into 2020, gold bugs believe monetary policy will play a big role in the precious metal’s ascent. With central banks cutting interest rates this year and proving that it will accommodate policy during the boom phase of the business cycle, these institutions could reduce rates even further. A low-rate environment is generally good for gold and silver because it lowers the opportunity cost and sends investors away from yield-bearing assets.

In other metal markets, January copper futures were unchanged at $2.80 per pound. January platinum futures climbed $26.10, or 2.86%, to $939.90 per ounce. February palladium futures spiked $39.70, or 2.19%, to $1,848.60 an ounce.

If you have any questions and comments on the commodities today, use the form below to reply.

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