November 26, 2019 / 11:19 AM / 20 days ago

PRECIOUS-Gold steadies near two-week low as focus remains on U.S.-China talks

 (Adds detail, analyst comment, updates prices)
    * U.S. consumer confidence data due at 1500 GMT
    * Palladium touches highest in three weeks
    * GRAPHIC-2019 asset returns: tmsnrt.rs/2jvdmXl

    By Eileen Soreng
    Nov 26 (Reuters) - Gold was steady on Tuesday as traders
awaited further developments in the trade negotiations between
the United States and China while a firm equities market kept
bullion near a two-week low hit earlier in the day.
    Spot gold        was steady at $1,454.67 an ounce at 1340
GMT. U.S. gold futures         edged down 0.2% to $1,454.50.
    "Markets are on standby," said FXTM analyst Lukman Otunuga,
adding that everyone is waiting for further developments after
news of a phone call between the two sides in an effort to
secure a so-called Phase 1 deal.
     China's Vice Premier Liu He, U.S. Trade representative
Robert Lighthizer and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin
held a phone call on issues related to Phase 1 agreement on
Tuesday, China's commerce ministry said.             
    Global equities edged off their highest in almost two years
but kept record levels in sight after the latest signs of a
potential end to the U.S.-China trade war.            
    More trade optimism should be enough to send gold towards
$1,430, but if there's more time wasting or investors are left
empty handed, that should elevate gold prices towards
$1,465-$1,475, Otunuga added. 
    Gold earlier touched its lowest since Nov. 12 at $1,451.15,
having posted losses in the previous four sessions.
    "We're now back around the $1,440-$1,460 support zone,"
OANDA analyst Craig Erlam said in a note. "A break of this would
be very significant and could potentially open up a move back
towards the $1,400 area."
    Investor focus will now turn to U.S. consumer confidence
data due at 1500 GMT. 
    U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on Monday said that
officials had a favourable outlook on the U.S. economy but will
"respond accordingly" if economic data leads to a "material
reassessment" of their outlook.             
    The central bank cut interest rates three times this year
before pausing.             
    Gold, considered a safe asset in times of political and
economic uncertainty, has gained more than 13% this year, mainly
because of the tariff dispute and its impact on global economic
growth.
    Elsewhere, China's net gold imports via traditional conduit
Hong Kong slipped for a second straight month in October, data
showed, dropping to the lowest level since July amid tepid
demand.             
    Among other precious metals, silver        was up 0.1% at
$16.92 an ounce.
    Palladium        dipped 0.2% to $1,794.18, having earlier
htouched its highest since Nov. 4 at $1,818.54, while platinum
       gained 0.2% to $898.53.

 (Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru
Editing by Jan Harvey and David Goodman)
  
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