Gold prices rose overnight on concerns that the US-China trade war may stretch beyond a March 1 deal deadline and the potential effect it could have on global growth, although gains were capped by a strengthening US dollar.
Spot gold rose 0.4 per cent to $US1,310.90 an ounce after touching its lowest since January 29 at $US1,302.11.
US gold futures settled unchanged at $US1,314.20.
‘The report that US and China are not getting any closer to a trade resolution has gold prices appreciating… people are finally waking up to the fact that there is no possibility that this is going to be resolved by March,’ said Jeffrey Sica, founder of Circle Squared Alternative Investments.
US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping were unlikely to meet before their countries’ March 1 deadline to reach a trade agreement, US officials said.
The two countries had taken a 90-day hiatus in their trade war to work out a deal.
The US dollar index, which tracks the greenback against major currencies, was on course for a sixth session of gains and trading close to a two-week high taking some sheen away from gold.
‘No matter what happens politically, economically if the (US) dollar keeps getting stronger we will get increases in gold prices but not near to the extent they could,’ Sica said.
Earlier in the session, gold gained after US unemployment benefits dropped from near a 1-1/2-year high last week to 234,000, while economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims falling to 221,000.
‘Uncertainty over US-China trade relations and the potential for another US government shutdown continue to underpin interest toward $US1,300 and should see supportive price action remain over the near term,’ MKS PAMP Group said in a note.
Stocks around the world pulled back sharply on Thursday on fears of a global growth slowdown spreading to Europe and renewed worries about any near-term resolution of US-China trade tensions.
Gold denominated in euros climbed to a fresh high during the day, hitting its highest since early May 2017, at 1,157.37 euros per ounce.
‘We believe that gold should remain in good demand – after all, the political risks appear to be increasing again,’ Commerzbank said in a note.
Among other precious metals, palladium gained 1 per cent to $US1,386 an ounce, silver was down 0.3 per cent at $US15.70 and platinum was down 1.3 per cent at $US793 after touching its lowest since January 24.