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PRECIOUS-Gold steady as weaker dollar offsets effect of rising equities
Published at 13/12/2019 at 08:49

(Adds analyst comments, updates prices)

* U.S. dollar holds near 5-month low

* Palladium hits record high of $1,979.50/oz

* Platinum eyes best week since end-August

* GRAPHIC-2019 asset returns:

By K. Sathya Narayanan

Dec 13 (Reuters) - Gold steadied on Friday as a weaker U.S. dollar helped offset pressure from increased appetite for riskier assets following reports of a breakthrough in Sino-U.S. trade negotiations, while palladium scaled a fresh peak.

Spot gold was steady at $1,469.90 per ounce by 0828 GMT, but was up about 0.7% so far this week. U.S. gold futures

were up 0.1% at $1,474.40.

"The market remains cautious... Until we see a little bit more data around what has been agreed, investors aren't going to take any aggressive positioning in the gold market," said ANZ analyst Daniel Hynes.

Sources said on Thursday U.S. negotiators were offering to cut existing tariffs on Chinese goods by as much as 50% and suspend new tariffs scheduled to go into effect on Sunday.

U.S. stocks surged to record highs, while Asian equities rose to an eight-month peak, making safe-harbour risk-off assets such as gold less appealing.

The dollar was hovering close to its lowest since early July, putting a floor under gold prices.

"Until the U.S.-China trade deal gets signed and closed, uncertainty will persist in the market," said Ajay Kedia, director at Kedia Advisory in Mumbai, adding North Korea-U.S. relations should support gold in the coming weeks.

Tensions have been rising in recent weeks as Pyongyang has conducted a series of weapons tests.

Meanwhile, Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson won a resounding election victory on Friday that will allow him to take his country out of the European Union by the end of January.

"Gold has been driven by other issues, including central bank easing and low inflation, and that is helping support underlying investor appetite despite headwind in the shorter term," Hynes said.

In the previous session, gold scaled a more than one-month high after data from the United States showed higher-than-expected jobless claims, but ended the day lower.

Market participants are now awaiting November U.S. retail sales data, due later in the day.

Elsewhere, palladium rose 2% to $1,977.98 an ounce, having notched an all-time high of $1,979.50.

Plagued by supply deficit, the metal has gained about 5% so far this week, predominantly supported by mine closures across major producer South Africa.

Platinum fell 0.7%, to $936.91 per ounce, but was on track to post its best week since August-end.

Silver dipped 0.1% to $16.92, but was set to post its best weekly gain since the end of October.

<^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ U.S. sets China trade deal terms, sources say, but Beijing mum

U.S. envoy to visit Seoul as deadline looms for stalled N.Korea talks Johnson wins "huge" mandate for swift Brexit in UK election

U.S. producer prices tepid; jobless claims at more than two-year high

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^>

(Reporting by K. Sathya Narayanan in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Christopher Cushing)

((Sathya.Narayanan@thomsonreuters.com; within U.S. +1 651 848 5832, outside U.S. +91 80 6749 3226/1298; Reuters Messaging: sathya.narayanan.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))