Gold granulate is seen at a plant of gold refiner and bar manufacturer Valcambi in the southern Swiss town of Balerna. Picture: REUTERS/MICHAEL BUHOLZER
Gold granulate is seen at a plant of gold refiner and bar manufacturer Valcambi in the southern Swiss town of Balerna. Picture: REUTERS/MICHAEL BUHOLZER

Bengaluru — Gold prices were flat on Tuesday, as investors looked for clues from US President Donald Trump on the status of trade talks with China, while the political unrest in Hong Kong provided some support to the safe-haven metal.

The risk-averse sentiment in the market supported bullion, often seen as an alternative investment during times of political and financial uncertainty.

Spot gold was flat at $1,456.01 an ounce, as of 3.19am GMT. In the previous session, the yellow metal fell to its lowest in more than three months as upbeat risk sentiment kept US equities close to record levels.

US gold futures were also unchanged at $1,457 an ounce.

Caution ruled ahead of a speech by Trump to the Economic Club of New York later in the day in case there was any new word on the Sino-US phase-one trade deal.

“New developments in the US-China trade war or any data that point towards inflation rate element will impact gold prices,” said Nicholas Frappell, global GM at ABC Bullion.

Last week Chicago Federal Reserve president Charles Evans said that the US economy is in a good place but the path of inflation will be important in deciding the future path of interest rates.

The US and China had agreed to roll back tariffs on each others’ goods as part of the first phase of a trade deal, but Trump denied any such agreement over the weekend.

The months-long trade war and Brexit uncertainty have roiled financial markets and sparked fears of a global economic slowdown, pushing the precious metal more than 13% higher this year.

Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson won a boost in the election campaign when Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party pulled out of 317 Conservative-held seats in a bid to keep Brexit opponents from controlling the next parliament.

Gold will face resistance at the $1,488 level, according to Frappell.

Providing some support to bullion, however, were the Hong Kong protests, where police shot and critically wounded a protester and a man was set on fire on Monday in violence that prompted city leader Carrie Lam to denounce “enemies of the people”.

The events were an escalation in pro-democracy unrest in the Chinese-ruled territory that has lasted five months.

Asian share markets flatlined as uncertainty over Sino-US trade talks and political strife in Hong Kong dogged sentiment, while safe-haven bonds eked out a bounce.

Elsewhere, palladium inched down 0.1% to $1,686.34 an ounce, having touched its lowest since October 10 in the previous session.

Platinum edged up 0.3% to $878.41 an ounce, while silver was flat at $16.86.