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 trading in a narrow range on Tuesday as investors stayed on the sidelines, even as US President Donald Trump’s move to slap tariffs on Brazil and Argentina stoked fresh global trade tensions.

Spot gold slipped 0.1% to $1,460.92 an ounce by 5am GMT. US gold futures fell 0.2% to $1,466.60.

Trump on Monday announced tariffs on US steel and aluminium imports from Brazil and Argentina “effective immediately”, opening new fronts in his trade war.

“The only reason prices have not risen is because the investment demand for gold is not there,” said Jigar Trivedi, a commodities analyst at Mumbai-based Anand Rathi Shares & Stock Brokers.

“In SPDR gold exchange traded funds (ETF), flows have reduced, investor demand has faltered and that is why gold prices have not reacted to the uncertainties to the trade matters,” he said.

Holdings of the world’s largest gold-backed ETF, SPDR Gold Trust, fell 0.7% to 889.16 tons on Monday, their lowest since September 19. Speculators also cut their bullish positions in Comex gold in the week to November 26, data showed on Monday.

“People are expecting US-China trade war to de-escalate, plus the US Federal Reserve has signalled that there will be no further rate cuts unless there is a U-turn in the economy, so sentiment will be bearish (in gold),” Trivedi said.

Gold has risen more than 13% so far this year, mainly due to the 17-month-old trade dispute.

Trump on Monday said US legislation backing protesters in Hong Kong did not make trade negotiations with China easier, but added he believes Beijing still wants a deal.

“The metal continues to hold range bound heading into year-end, seemingly well supported around $1,450, however lacking any meaningful demand to break topside resistant through $1,465-$1,470 and $1,480 the key level above this,” analysts at MKS PAMP said in a note.

Elsewhere, palladium was down 0.1% at $1,851.09 an ounce, after scaling a peak in the previous session at $1,861.71. Silver was flat at $16.90, while platinum was unchanged at $897.65.

Reuters