Gold. Picture: REUTERS
Gold. Picture: REUTERS

Bengaluru — Gold prices slipped for a fourth straight session on Tuesday as recent upbeat economic data and signs that Washington and Beijing were making headway in a nearly year-long trade tariff skirmish boosted risk sentiment.

Better economic conditions motivate investors to pivot towards equities that are interest-bearing assets and shun the nonyielding bullion.

Spot gold was down 0.2% at $1,284.98 per ounce, as of 0326 GMT. In the previous session, the bullion dropped to $1,281.96, its weakest since April 4.

US gold futures shed about 0.3% at $1,287.60 an ounce.

“The main reason what pressures gold is the improved economic data ... for countries such as China for example, things have turned around a fair bit,” said analyst Dominic Schneider of UBS Wealth Management in Hong Kong.

China reported better-than-expected credit and export figures last week that allayed concerns regarding the pace of economic growth.

Meanwhile, jobs data from the US last week also lifted sentiment, assuaging concerns that the largest economy was losing momentum. Data showed the number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits dropped to a 49-year low.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan on Monday hit a peak since July 2018 as a reaction to the strong Chinese data.

“Equity markets are trading on an even keel, while optimism about a US-China trade deal continues to be very supportive for risk sentiment completely deflating investor appetite for safe-haven plays like gold,” said Stephen Innes, head of trading and market strategy, SPI Asset Management.

US treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin told Fox Business Network on Monday trade negotiations between the Washington and their Chinese counterparts were “making a lot of progress”.

“The other element that pressures gold is the 10-year (yields) in the US, which, despite easing yesterday, has been creeping up a bit from its March lows,” Schneider added.

After hitting a roughly 14-month low around late March, US benchmark 10-year and 30-year yields have risen about 17 basis points and 16 basis points respectively.

Markets now await key eurozone and Chinese data, which will provide further clues on the global economic health.

A Reuters poll has meanwhile suggested that despite China’s first-quarter economic growth likely cooling to the weakest pace in at least 27 years, recent stimulus measures would lift the economic mood in the future.

Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, on Monday dropped to 754.03 tons, their lowest since November 9, 2018.

Among other metals, silver was 0.4% lower at $14.93 an ounce, having touching its lowest since December 26 at $14.81, in the previous session.

Spot platinum gained 0.2% to $886.50 per ounce and palladium rose 0.3% to $1,365.95 per ounce.