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Gold Kicks Off October Lower, Other Metals Submerged in Sea of Red

October 1, 2018 at 16:48 by Andrew Moran

After recording a decline in September, gold futures are now kicking off October trading lower. Because of a market-positive new trilateral trade agreement and a rallying US dollar, the yellow metal remains parked under the $1,200 threshold.

December gold futures tumbled $3.50, or 0.29%, to $1,192.70 per ounce at 16:19 GMT on Monday. Gold prices, which posted a weekly loss of 1% last week, fell more than 1% in September. Year-to-date, gold is down 10.2%.

Silver, the sister commodity to gold, is also starting the new month in the red. December silver futures shed $0.22, or 1.5%, to $14.49 an ounce. The white metal, posting a weekly gain of about 1%, has been having one of its worst years in recent history, plunging 16% so far in 2018.

Just before the October 1 deadline, Canada, the US, and Mexico announced that they have finally reached a trilateral trade deal called USMCA, abandoning the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) name. It remains unclear as to when the trade pact will go into effect, but Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo suggested that it might go into effect in the second half of 2019.

Until then, the North American leaders are satisfied that they have come to a conclusion after a year, especially with three major events happening over the next few months. The US will hold its midterm elections in November, the Mexican president-elect will soon enter office, and Canada will have its general election in the spring.

President Donald Trump congratulated the two nations on Monday, writing in a series of tweets:

Late last night, our deadline, we reached a wonderful new Trade Deal with Canada, to be added into the deal already reached with Mexico. The new name will be The United States Mexico Canada Agreement, or USMCA. It is a great deal for all three countries, solves the many deficiencies and mistakes in NAFTA, greatly opens markets to our Farmers and Manufacturers, reduces Trade Barriers to the U.S. and will bring all three Great Nations together in competition with the rest of the world. The USMCA is a historic transaction!

Congratulations to Mexico and Canada!

The news sent the greenback higher as the US dollar surged 0.2% to 95.34. A stronger buck is bad for dollar-denominated commodities because it makes it more expensive for foreign investors to buy.

During the trade turmoil between the US and the rest of the world, the greenback has been a safe-haven asset for investors, not gold, surprising many analysts. In times of domestic strife, international volatility, and geopolitical tensions, gold is typically the safe-haven asset, but not this time around.

In other metal commodities, December copper futures fell $0.01, or 0.36%, to $2.79 per pound. December platinum futures were flat at $824.60 per ounce. December palladium futures dropped $23.40, or 2.18%, to $1,049.40 an ounce.

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