Gold bars and others precious metals are pictured at the Agosi factory in Pforzheim, southwestern Germany. Picture: AFP/PATRICK HERTZOG
Gold bars and others precious metals are pictured at the Agosi factory in Pforzheim, southwestern Germany. Picture: AFP/PATRICK HERTZOG

Gold edged down on Friday on profit booking and as investors gauged the Federal Reserve’s future rate cut stance, but the metal was set for a second weekly gain as the uncertainty surrounding a US-China trade deal boosted safe-haven appeal.

Spot gold fell 0.2% to $1,510.77/oz at 3.15am GMT, while US gold futures were down 0.1% at $1,513.20/oz. But spot gold is set to rise 0.5% on a weekly basis, after a 1% gain the previous week.

The US Federal Reserve on Wednesday lowered its policy rate by a quarter of a percentage point to a target range of 1.50% to 1.75% but signalled there would be no further reductions unless the economy takes a turn for the worse.

“The gold market looks pretty strong in the near-term given fresh uncertainty around the trade war and economic data from the US confirming the slowdown still lingering,” said Janie Simpson, MD at ABC Bullion.

She attributed the session’s weakness in gold prices to market correction after prices jumped 1% in the previous session.

“Considering the economic slowdown still existing, investors are expecting more rate cuts even though the Fed has pushed a pause button on it.”

A flattening yield curve indicates market participants believe the US Federal Reserve may be pausing its interest rate cuts too soon.

The number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits rose slightly more than expected last week, pointing out to the concerns of the economic slowdown still existing.

The Institute for Supply Management is due to release data from its survey of purchasing managers later in the day.

Chile’s decision to cancel the November 16-17 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit disrupted plans for the US and China to sign an interim trade deal, but President Donald Trump said the two countries would soon announce a new site to sign a “Phase One” trade agreement.

A near 16-month long trade war between the two economies has slowed global trade, stirred recession fears for some economies and roiled financial markets.

Asian shares fell on Friday on fresh concerns over Sino-US trade prospects and ahead of US economic data, while the dollar eased against major rivals.

The dollar index against a basket of six major currencies eased slightly to 97.296.

Holdings of the largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, New York’s SPDR Gold Trust, fell 0.19% on Wednesday from Tuesday.

Among other metals, silver fell 0.4% to $18.06/oz, while palladium and platinum were flat at $1,793.25/oz and $931.21/oz, respectively. Palladium is set to record its fourth straight week of gains.

Reuters