November 28, 2019 / 12:22 PM / 9 days ago

PRECIOUS-Gold treads water as investors assess U.S.-China trade developments

 (Updates prices)
    * Palladium hits all-time high of $1,841.69/oz
    * Gold faces biggest monthly decline since November 2016
    * Trading subdued due to Thanksgiving holiday

    By Swati Verma
    Nov 28 (Reuters) - Gold traded in a narrow $5 range on
Thursday as investors gauged the impact of U.S. backing of Hong
Kong protesters on its trade negotiations with China, while
palladium scaled a record peak on a sustained supply crunch.
    Spot gold        was up 0.1% at $1,455.37 per ounce by 1331
GMT. U.S. gold futures         rose 0.1% to $1,454.90, with
trading volumes subdued by the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday.
    China warned the United States that it would take "firm
countermeasures" in response to U.S. legislation backing
anti-government protesters in Hong Kong.             
    The U.S. legislation "doesn't seem to have provided much of
a support to gold prices. The already slim chances of a 'phase
1' agreement don't seem to have improved," Commerzbank analyst
Eugen Weinberg said.
    "There is still strong pressure on gold. Staying above
$1,450 and not falling lower is quite important for gold. If the
equities market run continues, it is likely that gold prices
will come under more pressure."
    In global stock markets, a four-day rally to near-record
highs stalled as the U.S. bill backing Hong Kong's protesters
threatened to derail an interim trade deal between Washington
and Beijing.            
    Gold prices have slipped more than 6% from six-year highs
hit in September and are on track to post their biggest monthly
decline in three years.
    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. He added that gold would remain supported even if an
interim deal was passed since the most complex issues, such as
intellectual property, had 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        gained 0.4% to
$1,840.61 per ounce, having hit an all-time high of $1,841.69
earlier in the session.
    "Yet again, it's very much about scarcity of palladium and
continued production deficits given the strong demand from the
car industry and inadequate supply," Commerzbank's Weinberg
    The price of the metal, used in vehicle exhausts to reduce
harmful emissions, has risen more than 45% so far this year.
    Platinum        fell 0.1% to $891.52 per ounce and silver
       was steady at $16.94.

 (Reporting by Swati Verma and Sumita Layek in Bengaluru;
Editing by Dale Hudson, Kirsten Donovan)
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