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Gold Quiet on Thanksgiving as US-China Trade Concerns Intensify

November 28, 2019 at 15:04 by Andrew Moran

Gold futures are trading relatively quiet on the US Thanksgiving holiday as investors try to digest the latest development in the US-China trade saga. But some investors are making bold bets on the yellow metal within the next two years, seemingly concerned over geopolitical tensions, trade wars, currency crises, and economic downturns.

February gold futures edged up $1.20, or 0.08%, to $1,462.00 per ounce at 13:45 GMT on Thursday on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gold prices are on track for a weekly dip of 0.1%, adding to their 3.5% loss this month. Year-to-date, the precious metal is still up about 14%.

Silver, the sister commodity to gold, is mustering up a rally as traders gobble up their turkey dinners. March silver futures surged $0.125, or 0.75%, to $17.035 an ounce. The white metal is also poised for a weekly decline of 0.25%, but prices have still advanced close to 10% so far this year.

US and China relations hit a bump in the road on Wednesday. President Donald Trump signed legislation that mandates the State Department to certify that Hong Kong retains enough autonomy to justify favorable US trading terms. Beijing had denounced the bill and pledged to implement “firm countermeasures.”

What these countermeasures are remain unclear, but analysts fear that China may retaliate through trade negotiations. In recent days, there has been a generally upbeat sentiment in talks, and the consensus was that the world’s two largest economies were close to reaching an agreement.

The development did slightly rejuvenate gold’s safe-haven appeal following a record-setting Wednesday in financial markets. And some investors seem to be thinking that the worst is yet to come, at least in the next two years.

According to Bloomberg News, the gold options market witnessed $1.75 million in block trades betting that the metal commodity could triple in 18 months. On Wednesday, there were 5,000 lots of a gold option that provided the investor the right to purchase gold at $4,000 an ounce in June 2021. Its all-time high occurred in 2011 when prices topped $1,923 per ounce.

In other metal commodities, January copper futures shed $0.01, or 0.35%, to $2.665 per pound. January platinum futures tumbled $4.30, or 0.48%, to $891.10 per ounce. January palladium futures were unchanged at $1,806.10 an ounce.

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