November 22, 2019 / 11:32 AM / 16 days ago

PRECIOUS-Gold rises as 'phase one' trade deal doubts persist

    * Palladium on track for best week since mid-September
    * Euro zone business growth misses expectations
    * Gold testing resistance at $1,470/oz- analyst

 (Updates prices)
    By Karthika Suresh Namboothiri
    Nov 22 (Reuters) - Gold prices were on track for a second
straight weekly gain on Friday, as uncertainties about the fate
of a "phase one" trade deal between the United States and China
    Spot gold        was up 0.4% at $1,469.51 per ounce at 1348
GMT, and was 0.1% higher for the week.
    U.S. gold futures         also climbed 0.4% to $1,469.70 per
    "Gold is on the bullish side given the ongoing uncertainty
regarding trade talks, which increased following the approval of
the Hong Kong bill in the U.S. Congress," Commerzbank analyst
Carsten Fritsch said.
    "In all likelihood, Trump will sign it (the bill) which
could be a stumbling block for a solution in trade talks, and
hurt prospects of continued negative interest rates. This has
continued to support investment demand in gold."
    The United States on Wednesday passed two bills intended to
support protesters in Hong Kong and send a warning to China
about human rights, to China's displeasure. 
    Chinese President Xi Jinping said earlier in the day that
China wants to work out an initial trade pact with the United
States and has been trying to avoid a trade war, but is not
afraid to retaliate when necessary.             
    Investors were hedging their bets.                         
    "This morning, despite stock markets in green, bullion is
rebounding with the price now testing the resistance area of
$1,470. It seems that investors are waiting for a clear signal
on direction and particularly any news coming from the trade
war," Carlo Alberto De Casa, chief analyst at ActivTrades, said
in a note.
    The trade war between the world's two largest economies has
roiled markets since its inception more than 16-months ago, and
stoked concerns of a global economic recession.
    Tepid economic data from around the world have done little
to assure investors. Euro zone business growth almost ground to
a halt this month as activity in the bloc's dominant services
industry increased at a much weaker pace than expected, a survey
showed on Friday.             
    Meanwhile, the German economy has avoided a recession as
exports, state spending and consumers provided support.
    Among other precious metals, silver        rose 0.2% to
$17.14 per ounce. Platinum        fell 1% to $906.01, but has so
far gained about 1.8% this week.
    Palladium        was up 0.3% to $1,765.89 per ounce, on
track for its best week since mid-September.

 (Reporting by Karthika Suresh Namboothiri in Bengaluru; Editing
by Philippa Fletcher and Mark Potter)
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