Gold slips on China trade hopes early Monday after equities strengthened as investors awaited the signing of the phase-one trade deal.
Asian stocks rose to 19-month highs in early trading Monday, making precious metals less attractive as an alternate investment.
U.S. President Donald Trump has indicated that the accord with China will be signed on Wednesday. China has said that Vice Premier Liu He will travel to the U.S. Jan. 13-15 to ink the deal. The Wall Street Journal reported over the weekend that the U.S. and China have agreed to semiannual talks to push for economic reform and resolve disputes and will announce that at the same time the trade pact is formalized.
Gold is seen as a safe-haven asset and typically gets a boost in times of economic or political uncertainty, such as the trade war with China and Mideast strife, and falls when tensions ease.
February gold futures rose 0.5% last week to settle at $1,560.10 an ounce on Comex. Currently, the February contract is at $1,555.30.
The yellow metal had surged above $1,600 an ounce for the first time in almost seven years last week while platinum hit a new record after Iran attacked two bases housing U.S. troops in retaliation for the U.S. airstrike that killed Qasem Soleimani. The U.S. imposed more sanctions on Tehran Friday and pledged more if it continues to pursue nuclear-weapons technology.
Speculators boosted their bullish positions in Comex gold in the week ended Jan. 7, according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s weekly Commitments of Traders report, which came out Friday.
Gold prices came off the highs at the end of last week in anticipation of the China trade deal and as concerns about a possible war in the Middle East diminished.
Silver slipped 0.3% last week to settle at $18.11 an ounce on Comex. The March futures contract gained 0.9% Friday. Spot palladium, a metal used primarily in autocatalysts, hit new records above $2,000 an ounce last week, gaining 6.5% during the period. Spot platinum slid 0.3% last week.
In economic news this week, the U.S. will release consumer price index data Tuesday and producer price index numbers Wednesday. Initial jobless claims come out Thursday and U.S. industrial production and consumer sentiment data on Friday.
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