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Gold Rises on US-China Tensions, Posts Weekly Loss

May 22, 2020 at 18:49 by Andrew Moran

Gold futures are rising to finish the trading week, but they are still poised for a weekly loss. The yellow metal has been impacted by growing investor sentiment over economies reopening, plus Modern’s Coronavirus vaccine development affected gold prices. But a renewed US-China spat, as well as geopolitical tensions, could help gold pare its losses during the holiday-shortened trading week.

June gold futures tacked on $11.10, or 0.64%, to $1,733.00 per ounce at 18:33 GMT on Friday on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gold took a breather from its 14% year-to-date surge as prices fell about 1.2% this week.

Silver, the sister commodity to gold, is also continuing its upward ascent to close out the trading week. July silver futures surged $0.256, or 1.47%, to $17.62 per ounce. The white metal will record a weekly gain of at least 3.1%, bringing its monthly increase to around 14%. Silver has wiped out nearly all of its 2020 losses.

The Chinese government recently proposed imposing new security laws on Hong Kong, drawing staunch criticism from Washington. US lawmakers have introduced bipartisan legislation that would sanction Chinese officials who agree to enforce the security measures and penalize financial institutions. Ultimately, Beijing could face tremendous damage if it chooses to threaten Hong Kong’s autonomy, which would come at a time when the world’s second-largest economy is trying to reboot the country.

At the same time, US warships and Iranian freighters are traveling to Venezuela, generating fear that there could be a confrontation over the weekend.

On the economic front, China announced that it is dropping its annual growth target rate for the first time. This has led analysts to conclude that the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic is likely a lot more serious than what President Xi Jinping and his Communist regime is admitting.

The latest geopolitical and economic developments have prompted investors to pour into traditional safe-haven assets, including the greenback. The US Dollar Index soared 0.4% to 99.77, from an opening of 99.42, lowering its weekly drop to 0.4%. A stronger buck is typically bad for dollar-denominated commodities because it makes it more expensive for foreign investors to purchase.

Meanwhile, Fitch Solutions wrote in a research note that gold would stay above $1,700 this year as it finds support from lower-for-longer interest rates and quantitative easing. With geopolitical uncertainty and stellar investor flows, Fitch anticipates gold will maintain support for the next six to 12 months.

In other metal markets, July copper futures shed $0.0405, or 1.67%, to $2.3915 per pound. July platinum futures picked up $17.90, or 2.07%, to $884.40 an ounce. July palladium futures plunged $78.80, or 3.82%, to $1,983.50 per ounce.

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