November 18, 2019 / 4:04 PM / 15 days ago

PRECIOUS-Gold erases losses as U.S.-China trade hopes ebb

 (Updates prices)
    * Markets await Fed minutes due on Wednesday
    * Platinum climbs for fourth straight session

    By Karthika Suresh Namboothiri
    Nov 18 (Reuters) - Gold edged up on Monday, erasing losses
from earlier in the session as fresh doubts over a U.S.-China
trade deal pushed Wall Street into the red.
    Spot gold        was up 0.3% at $1,471.92 per ounce as of
01:51 p.m. ET (1851 GMT), reversing course from earlier when
prices fell to as low as $1,455.87 on optimism constructive
trade talks had taken place between the world's two largest
economies over the weekend.
    U.S. gold futures        settled up 0.2% at $1,471.90 per
    However, a report that Beijing was not as optimistic, owing
to U.S. President Donald Trump's reluctance to roll back
tariffs, threw cold water over market cheer and on worldwide
stock markets that were near record levels.            
    "I am surprised how robustly the market reacts (to news on
the trade talks). This isn't the first time we have had this
news, but the market keeps responding," said Bart Melek, head of
commodity strategies at TD Securities, adding the report on
pessimism from Beijing has triggered a rebound in gold prices.
    "It looks like gold is seeking a move towards $1,480, which
is the 100-day moving average."
    The 16-month long Sino-U.S. tariff war has fanned
recessionary fears, but recent optimism over a phase one deal
had driven a rally in equity markets.
    Gold is considered an attractive investment during times of
political or economic uncertainty. It is highly sensitive to
interest rates, as lower rates reduce the opportunity cost of
holding the non-yielding bullion.
    Market participants now await minutes of the U.S. Federal
Reserve's last policy meeting, due on Wednesday, for clues about
the future interest rate trajectory.
    Investors also kept a close eye on developments in Hong
Kong, as police on Monday trapped hundreds of protesters inside
a major university and demonstrators rampaged through a tourist
    Among other metals, silver        gained 0.6% to $17.04 an
ounce, while palladium        rose 2% to $1,739.60 an ounce.
Platinum        was up 0.5% at $893.74, extending gains for a
fourth straight session.

 (Reporting by Karthika Suresh Namboothiri in Bengaluru; Editing
by Steve Orlofsky, Chris Reese and Richard Chang)
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