Gold faces worst month since June 2018

02 December 2019 | Sakenuus
Gold prices gained on Friday as markets awaited further developments on US China trade talks after Beijing said it would retaliate against Washington for passing a law in support of Hong Kong protesters.

However, the metal was on track for its biggest monthly decline since June 2018.

Spot gold was up 0.4% at US$1 463.59 an ounce as of 1856 GMT. It has shed around 3.3% in November. US gold futures settled 0.6% higher at US$1 470.20 per ounce.

China warned on Thursday it would take "firm counter measures" in response to US legislation backing anti-government protesters in Hong Kong.

"[The signing of the bill] takes another step back at the possibility of a trade agreement with China, which really upset them quite a bit. That is why we saw equities come off and goldpush up," said Phillip Streible, senior commodities strategist at RJO Futures.

Investors have been optimistic about an imminent "phase-one" trade deal between the world's two largest economies, lifting world stocks to record levels and dampening demand for safe haven assets such as bullion.

Gold, a hedge during times of financial or political uncertainty, pays no interest or dividends and costs money to store and insure.

However, gold prices were still on track for their best year since 2010, having gained 13.5% so far in 2019. Uncertainties surrounding the long-drawn trade war and recessionary fears have provided support.

‘Bargain hunting’

"Gold has managed to hold above US$1 450 since there is some bargain hunting. This is a good entry level for the ones who missed out previously," said UBS commodity analyst Giovanni Staunovo.

Investors are closely watching US data for signs on the health of the world's largest economy, which could influence the US Federal Reserve in its decision on further monetary easing.

Reduced expectations of further interest rate cuts by the Fed has weighed on spot gold prices, RJO Futures' Streible added. "We could go down to US$1 425 by the end of the year."

Among other precious metals, silver gained 0.8% at US$17.01 an ounce. Platinum dropped 0.7% to US$895.25 in the session, but extended gains for a third straight week. Palladium was steady at US$1 840.52 per ounce. The autocatalyst metal notched a fresh high of US$1 844.50 earlier in the session and was on track for a fourth consecutive monthly gain. – Nampa/Reuters

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