November 28, 2019 / 4:46 AM / 16 days ago

PRECIOUS-Gold gains as Hong Kong tensions fuel trade deal doubts

 (Updates prices, adds comment and details)
    * China condemns U.S. move, warns of "firm counter measures"
    * Palladium hits all-time high of $1,836.61
    * Yen gains versus dollar

    By Sumita Layek
    Nov 28 (Reuters) - Gold prices rose on Thursday as investors
bought the safe-haven metal on doubts about whether the United
States and China will seal a trade deal after President Donald
Trump signed a legislation supporting Hong Kong protesters. 
    Palladium retreated slightly after hitting an all-time peak
of $1,836.61 earlier in the session.
    Spot gold        was up 0.1% at $1,455.63 per ounce by 0659
GMT. U.S. gold futures         rose 0.1% to $1,454.80.
    Trump on Wednesday signed a legislation into law that
requires the State Department to certify, at least annually,
that Hong Kong retains enough autonomy to justify favourable
U.S. trading terms.             
    Beijing condemned the move and said it would take "firm
counter measures."             
    "With the latest developments of Trump signing the Hong Kong
bill, there are doubts that there will be any deal, even a first
phase," said Jigar Trivedi, a commodities analyst at
Mumbai-based Anand Rathi Shares & Stock Brokers.
    "Even though they've said they will sign a deal by year-end,
they've not talked about the venue, or who will go to whom. So,
I don't think the trade deal will be signed so easily and gold
will be supported."
    Asian shares fell, while the safe-haven yen rose against the
dollar on concerns that the protracted tariff dispute between
the world's two biggest economies could become more complicated.
                  
    Gold eased 0.5% in the last session on a raft of upbeat
economic data from the United States. Economic growth picked up
slightly in the third quarter, weekly jobless claims fell, while
new orders for key U.S.-made capital goods increased.            
                        
    "Global growth concerns have definitely eased, but not
gone," said John Sharma, an economist at National Australia
Bank, adding gold would remain supported even if an interim deal
is passed since the most complex issues, such as intellectual
property, have been pushed down the road.
    Gold, considered a safe store of value during economic or
political uncertainties, has gained more than 13% this year,
mainly due to the tariff dispute.
    Among other precious metals, palladium        shed 0.1% to
$1,831.69 per ounce.
    The autocatalyst metal used in vehicle exhaust systems to
reduce harmful emissions has risen about 45% this year on a
supply crunch.
    "Strong demand from China and sluggish supply growth have
tightened palladium's physical market this year...," ANZ said in
a note.
    Platinum        was flat at $892.95 per ounce and silver
       rose 0.1% to $16.96 per ounce.

 (Reporting by Sumita Layek in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya
Soni)
  
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