Gold Firmed Early Friday

Gold Firmed Early Friday

Gold firmed up early Friday amid doubts over whether the U.S. and China will manage to sign a trade deal this year.

Reuters reporting that Chinese President Xi Jinping said his country wants to work out an initial trade pact with the United States, but is not afraid to retaliate if necessary. Meanwhile, China’s top trade negotiator Liu He has invited his U.S. counterparts — U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin — for a new round of face-to-face talks in Beijing, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing unidentified people briefed on the matter. But bills passed by the U.S. Congress this week in support of Hong Kong protesters and other roadblocks may delay a deal.

Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger said Thursday that the U.S. and China are in the “foothills of a cold war” which could be worse than World War I if left unchecked, Bloomberg reported, citing comments at the New Economy Forum in Beijing.

December gold futures slid 0.7% Thursday to settle at $1,463.60 an ounce on Comex, the lowest closing level since Nov. 13. Bullion decreased 0.3% in the first four days of the week and is down 3.4% so far this month. Gold prices skyrocketed earlier this year as a hedge against uncertainty as the two sides squared off. Currently the December contract is at $1,469.00.

Investors continue to keep a close eye on economic news for indications on future Federal Reserve actions after the central bank cut rates for three consecutive times. The CME FedWatch Tool showed a 94.8% probability that the Federal Open Market Committee would keep rates unchanged at the next meeting Dec. 11, while there were 5.2% odds on a hike.

In economic news, U.S. applications for unemployment benefits were unchanged at a five-month high of 227,000 last week, according to Labor Department data released Thursday.

On Friday, China revised up its 2018 gross domestic product following new national census results, making it easier for the country to meet its goal of doubling the size of the economy in 2020 from 2010, according to the South China Morning Post. GDP was revised up by 2.1% to 91.93 trillion yuan, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics.

Silver fell 0.3% Thursday and has risen 0.7% in the first four days of the week, outpacing gold. The most-active December contract settled at $17.07 an ounce Thursday on Comex. It’s down 5.6% in November. Spot platinum and spot palladium were both down Thursday and higher for the week.

While platinum slipped 0.7% to $908.85 per ounce yesterday, it looks to gain about 2% for the week. Palladium was flat at $1,761 per ounce, but should have its best in 10 weeks after gaining more than 3%. The metal had hit a record high of $1,824.50 in October as its supply crunch continues.


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