Gold bars on display. Picture: BLOOMBERG
Gold bars on display. Picture: BLOOMBERG

Bengaluru — Gold prices edged higher on Monday as investors were cautious ahead of this week’s Sino-US trade talks after a report that Beijing would likely disagree to a broad trade deal with the US.

Spot gold gained 0.1% to $1,505.86 per ounce as of 6.24am. Prices had firmed 0.5% last week on fears of cooling global growth.

US gold futures were little changed at $1,513.30 per ounce.

There is uncertainty regarding the trade negotiations. China seems to be very reluctant to agree, said Margaret Yang Yan, a market analyst at CMC Markets.

“There is demand for safe haven assets, which reflects a very cautious mood towards the trade deal,” Yan said.

The next round of US-China trade negotiations are slated to be held in Washington on October 10-11, though hopes of progress diminished after Bloomberg reported that Chinese officials wanted the scope of this week’s negotiations to be narrow.

“Gold has been in a range of less than $100. It will take a strong catalyst to bring gold out of this channel,” Yan said, adding that quantitative easing by the Fed, European Central Bank and Bank of Japan could be a major factor.

A report on Friday showed jobs growth in the US slowed in September and wage growth stalled, even as unemployment dropped to a 50-year low.

But that did little to change market expectations that the Fed will cut likely interest rates at its next policy review on October 29-30 to support the economy. Lower interest rates reduce the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding gold.

Meanwhile, China’s foreign exchange reserves fell more than expected in September amid a cooling domestic economy and the rising trade tensions.

Among other metals, platinum rose 0.3% to $878.75, silver dipped 0.1% to $17.53 and palladium dropped slightly to $1,663.69.