December 26, 2019
Gold gains as investors await phase one trade deal signing
(Reuters) - Gold prices rose above the key $1,500 mark to a near two-month peak on Thursday, as uncertainty around the signing of the 'phase one' trade deal between the United States and China boosted safe-haven flows into the metal.
Spot gold rose 0.3% to $1,503.02 per ounce by 0513 GMT. Prices hit their highest since Nov. 5 earlier in the session at $1,503.87. U.S. gold futures were up 0.2% to $1,507.40 per ounce.
"The data was weak before Christmas from the U.S. and we haven't seen anything signed or concrete yet in terms of the phase one trade deal ... so the market is unsure whether that
will come true," said Brian Lan, managing director at dealer GoldSilver Central in Singapore.
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday there will be a signing ceremony with the Chinese President Xi Jinping for the first phase of the agreement. Beijing confirmed the news by saying they were in close touch with Washington for the signing.
Lingering concerns of growth remained as data on Monday showed that new orders for key U.S.-made capital goods hardly rose in November and shipments fell, suggesting business investment will probably remain a drag on economy in the fourth quarter.
Economic data from the United States is keenly watched for cues on the central bank's future monetary trajectory. Gold is sensitive to rising interest rates, which lifts its opportunity cost.
Bullion has gained about 17% this year so far and is on track for its best year since 2010, owing to a protracted U.S.-China trade dispute and its impact on the global economy.
"The catalyst for next year is the U.S.-China trade friction with many unsolved issues, then there's Brexit by January end and U.S. election in November - all these uncertainties could lead to a temporary spike in gold prices," said Margaret Yang Yan, a market analyst at CMC Markets.
"Technically, gold prices have broken out above and trending upwards. It's flipping from a bearish to a bullish trend."
Among other precious metals, silver climbed 0.9% to $17.95 per ounce, after hitting its highest since Nov. 5 earlier in the session.
Platinum advanced 1.3% to $950.87, after touching its highest since Nov.4 earlier in the session at $954.03 per ounce, while palladium rose 0.7% to $1,896.69 per ounce.