Gold prices fell overnight as investors preferred the safety of the US dollar in the face of mounting concerns that the US-China trade dispute could slow global growth.
Spot gold was 0.4 per cent lower at $US1,308.18 per ounce.
US gold futures settled down 0.5 per cent at $US1,311.9 per ounce.
‘The big factor here is the strengthening of the US dollar,’ which is being supported by the trade dispute, said Bart Melek, head of commodity strategies at TD Securities in Toronto.
‘Any sort of a lack of agreement between the United States and China weakens the global emerging market currencies and that means, in relative terms, the US dollar does better, which is negative for gold,’ he said.
Trade talks between the US and China are set to resume this week with a delegation of US officials travelling to Beijing for the next round of negotiations.
But US President Donald Trump last week said he did not plan to meet with China’s President Xi Jinping before the March 1 deadline, dampening hopes that a trade pact might be reached quickly.
The US dollar index was at its highest in nearly eight weeks, which could dent demand for the metal amongst holders of other currencies.
‘Gains in US and world stock markets are also a bearish element for the safe-haven metals,’ Jim Wyckoff, senior analyst at Kitco Metals, wrote in a note to clients.
Gold could be vulnerable to more corrections if the US dollar strengthens further, analysts said.
‘With US employment numbers still quite strong and people moving into (US) dollar for safe-haven purposes, there is really no good reason why gold should take off much higher,’ TD’s Melek said.
But the yellow metal held above the key $US1,300-per-ounce level, supported by uncertainties surrounding the US Federal Reserve’s monetary policy and the possibility of another US government shutdown, analysts said.
Gold prices should remain range-bound until there is clarity on the trade front and a government shutdown, Oanda analyst Edward Moya said in a research note.
Meanwhile, platinum fell 1.8 per cent to $US783.50 per ounce, having earlier touched its lowest level since January 2 at $US779.50.
‘The spot price of platinum breaking through the $US800 level has forced some hedge funds to head for the exit,’ Walter Pehowich, executive vice president of investment services at Dillon Gage Metals, said in a note.
‘With a lack of any good news to support a rally in this market, I expect the sell off to continue.’
Palladium slid 1.4 per cent to $US1,383 per ounce, while silver fell nearly 1 per cent to $US15.67.