November 19, 2019 / 3:42 PM / 19 days ago

PRECIOUS-Gold rebounds as impeachment inquiry uncertainty weighs on stocks

 (Updates prices)
    * Markets await Fed minutes due Wednesday
    * Wall Street back off from record highs
    * U.S. grants extension for companies to do business with
Huawei

    By Karthika Suresh Namboothiri
    Nov 19 (Reuters) - Gold on Tuesday pared losses to scale a
one-week peak as Wall Street eased from record highs on U.S.
political uncertainties and somber earnings, while markets
awaited more cues on the Federal Reserve's monetary policy.
    Spot gold        edged up 0.3% to $1,474.65 per ounce as of
1:48 p.m. ET (1848 GMT) after touching its highest since Nov. 7.
    U.S. gold futures        settled 0.2% higher at $1,474.30 an
ounce.
    "For people trading gold they want more insight to the path
forward and where the Fed is at. With equities trading lower,
gold is getting a little bit of a lift based off that," said Bob
Haberkorn, senior market strategist at RJO Futures.
    Financial markets eased as underwhelming earnings and
concerns on the ongoing impeachment inquiry against U.S.
President Donald Trump overshadowed hopes for a U.S.-China trade
deal.                 
    Earlier in the session, Washington granted an extension for
U.S. companies to continue doing business with China's Huawei
Technologies Co Ltd         , a move markets took as a sign of
progressing U.S.-China trade relations.
    After adding Huawei to an economic blacklist in May, the
U.S. Commerce Department has allowed it to purchase some
American-made goods, and granted a new 90-day extension to
minimize disruption for its customers.              
    This prompted Wall Street to open at a record high, and
stocks globally raced to a 22-month peak and pushed bullion to
the day's low of $1,464.20.
    "The fact that gold has been stable within an environment
with equity markets driving to new highs ... is a testament that
there is still interest in safe haven assets," David Meger,
director of metals trading at High Ridge Futures said,
attributing it to concerns about economic growth and lingering
doubts about a trade deal.
    In the previous session, a report that Beijing was not as
optimistic about a deal, owing to Trump's reluctance to roll
back tariffs, had pushed gold into positive territory.
    However, assumptions that a "phase one" trade deal could be
reached soon outweighed any creeping doubts, with gold shedding
about 2.5% so far this month.
    Market participants were now awaiting the minutes from the
Fed's latest policy meeting, where the U.S. central bank had cut
interest rates for the third time this year.
    Other precious metal prices rose, with silver        gaining
0.8% to $17.16 per ounce, platinum        rose 1.8% to $910.15
and palladium        climbed 1.9% to $1,770.44 an ounce.

 (Reporting by Karthika Suresh Namboothiri and K. Sathya
Narayanan in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard Chang and Lisa
Shumaker)
  
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