Picture: BLOOMBERG
Picture: BLOOMBERG

Bengaluru — Gold inched up on Wednesday after US President Donald Trump threatened to raise tariffs on Chinese imports if no deal is reached with Beijing and as the US Senate passed a bill backing human rights in Hong Kong.

Spot gold rose 0.1% to $1,473.98 an ounce by 3.40am GMT. US gold futures was flat at $1,474.40 an ounce.

The US Senate also passed a second legislation to ban export of certain munitions to Hong Kong police forces. China condemned the moves and said Washington should stop interfering. Trump on Tuesday threatened an escalation of the US-China trade spat that has damaged economic growth worldwide.

“There are concerns that the latest bill passed in the US in support of the Hong Kong protesters might derail the progress in the US-China trade deal,” Ilya Spivak, a senior currency strategist at DailyFx said.

However, gains in gold are limited as investors are “not quite prepared to take a firm bet ahead of the US Federal Reserve’s minutes, which will probably confirm that the Fed is on hold for now and that’s not good news for gold,” Spivak said.

Investors are awaiting minutes from the Fed’s October policy meeting, due at 7pm GMT, for further cues on the monetary policy outlook. The US central bank has cut interest rates thrice this year to help sustain US growth, but signalled last month that there would be no further cuts unless the economy takes a turn for the worse.

Lower interest rates reduce the opportunity cost for holding the non-yielding bullion. Asian shares moved lower on conflicting messages on the trade front, in contrast to the strong rallies seen recently in global equities markets.

“The precious metal, though facing bearish pressures over a strong rally in the equities market, will remain vigorous over subdued global growth and geopolitical uncertainties in Q4,” Phillip Futures analyst Benjamin Lu said in a note.

Spot gold may rise into a range of $1,480-$1,485 an ounce, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.

Elsewhere, silver was unchanged at $17.14 an ounce, while palladium fell 0.1% to $1,760.80 an ounce. Platinum was down 0.6% to $904.52 an ounce.

Reuters