Picture: 123RF/KTS DESIGN
Picture: 123RF/KTS DESIGN

Bengaluru — Gold edged higher on Wednesday amid uncertainty about what comes after phase one of the US-China trade deal, while palladium slipped after a record run to the key $2,000 an ounce level.

Spot gold gained 0.2% to $1,478.65 an ounce as of 10.43am GMT. US gold futures rose 0.2% at $1,483.20.

“This is only phase one [of the trade deal] and there are still open questions as to what will happen in 2020 with IT protection and all the other major issues still to be addressed,” said Mitsubishi analyst Jonathan Butler.

Gold is on track for its biggest annual gain since 2010, bolstered by interest rates cuts by major central banks and the protracted tariff dispute.

US trade representative Robert Lighthizer said on Tuesday that details of Chinese purchases in the phase-one deal will be detailed in writing, but did not say when the written agreement would be released.

“Gold has taken consolidation to the next level over the past few days, with the daily range tightening to less that $10 and showing little sign of life,” Oanda analyst Craig Erlam said. “It’s struggling to hold on to any break above $1,480 though, so bulls shouldn’t get too excited just yet.” 

Gold, often used as a safe hedge against political and economic uncertainties, also found some support before a US House of Representatives vote on whether to impeach President Donald Trump later in the day.

Further support for bullion came from fresh fears of a no-deal Brexit, analysts said. On Tuesday, Britain set a hard deadline of December 2020 to reach a new trade deal with the EU, reviving fears of a chaotic exit from the bloc.

In other metals, palladium slipped 0.8% to $1,940.00 an ounce. The automotive catalyst metal hit a record high of $1,998.43 in the previous session, driven by a sustained shortfall, worsened by recent mine closures in major producer SA.

“The market set their sights on the key target. Once we did that, we definitely did see some profit-taking — that’s the reason we saw that price inflection,” said ING analyst Warren Patterson.

Silver edged 0.2% higher to $17.03 an ounce, while platinum was up 0.2% at $929.50. 


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