January 15, 2020
Gold gains as investors doubt impact of U.S.and China Phase 1 deal
(Reuters) - Gold prices rose on Wednesday as investors sought safer assets amid uncertainty about the effectiveness of the U.S.-China Phase 1 trade deal after a top U.S. official said tariffs on Chinese goods would stay in place even after the agreement is signed.
Spot gold rose 0.3% to $1,551.38 per ounce by 0332 GMT. Prices fell to their lowest since Jan. 3 at $1,535.63 on Tuesday. U.S. gold futures gained 0.5% to $1,552.30.
Just a day before the world's top two economies prepared to sign a Phase 1 trade deal, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said tariffs on Chinese goods will be in place until the
completion of a Phase 2 agreement.
Keeping the tariffs could reduce the economic benefits of the Phase 1 deal by limiting China's access to its second-largest trading market.
"Overnight reports that the U.S. would keep existing tariffs in place at least until after the U.S. election ... has obviously rattled markets a bit and that has been somewhat supportive for gold prices," said ING analyst Warren Patterson.
"I struggle to see gold trading below $1,500 for a sustainable period of time, over the next year or so, largely as a result of this trade uncertainty."
Gold rose 18% last year mainly because of the 18-month long tariff dispute and its impact on the global economy.
Further supporting bullion, Asian stocks slipped as Mnuchin's comments somewhat dented risk sentiment.
Investors were keenly awaiting the details of the Phase 1 agreement, which Mnuchin said would be released later in the day and will be fully enforceable.
A source on Tuesday said China has pledged to buy almost $80 billion of additional manufactured goods from the United States over the next two years as part of a truce, though some U.S.
trade experts call it an unrealistic target.
Concerns of friction in U.S.-China ties also remained with the United States nearing publication of a rule that would block shipments of foreign-made goods to China's Huawei, two sources said.
The Federal Reserve's Beige Book, a summary of commentary on economic conditions, was due at 1900 GMT.
Palladium rose to a record $2,204.29 an ounce earlier in the session, and was up 0.2% at $2,197.81.
"The underlying fundamentals with tight supply and demand balance is the key factor which continues to be supportive for prices," ING's Patterson said.
The metal, used for catalytic converters in automobile exhaust systems, gained about 54% in 2019 on a sustained supply deficit.
Silver rose 0.3% to $17.83 per ounce, while platinum advanced 0.6% to $989.03.