January 15, 2020 / 4:38 AM / a month ago

PRECIOUS-Gold gains as investors doubt impact of U.S.-China Phase 1 deal

 (Updates prices)
    * Palladium hits record high of $2,219.51
    * Asian stocks slip
    * Federal Reserve's Beige Book due at 1900 GMT

    By Sumita Layek
    Jan 15 (Reuters) - Gold rose on Wednesday as investors
sought safer assets amid uncertainty about the effectiveness of
a Sino-U.S. Phase 1 trade deal after a top U.S. official said
tariffs on Chinese goods would stay in place.
    Spot gold        rose 0.4% to $1,552.37 per ounce by 0829
GMT. U.S. gold futures         gained 0.5% to $1,552.90.
    Just a day before the world's top two economies prepared to
sign an interim trade deal, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven
Mnuchin said tariffs on Chinese goods will be in place until the
completion of a Phase 2 agreement.             
    Keeping the tariffs could reduce the economic benefits of
the Phase 1 deal by limiting China's access to one of its
largest trading markets. 
    "Overnight reports that the U.S. would keep existing tariffs
in place at least until after the U.S. election ... has
obviously rattled markets and that has been somewhat supportive
for gold," said ING analyst Warren Patterson.
    "I struggle to see gold trading below $1,500 for a
sustainable period of time, over the next year or so, largely as
a result of this trade uncertainty."
    Gold rose 18% last year mainly because of the 18-month long
tariff dispute and its impact on the global economy.
    Asian stocks slipped as Mnuchin's comments dented risk
    Investors were keenly awaiting the details of the Phase 1
agreement, which would be released later in the day.
    "The importance of the Phase 1 deal has now diminished,"
said Jigar Trivedi, a commodities analyst at Anand Rathi Shares
and Stock Brokers in Mumbai. "It's just symbolic at this time,
it will not have any significant impact on the market."
    A source on Tuesday said that under the deal China has
pledged to buy almost $80 billion of additional manufactured
goods from the United States over the next two years, though
some U.S. trade experts call it an unrealistic target.
    Concerns of friction in U.S.-China ties also remained with
the U.S. nearing publication of a rule that would block
shipments of foreign-made goods to China's Huawei.             
    The Federal Reserve's Beige Book, a summary of commentary on
economic conditions, was due at 1900 GMT.
    Palladium        hit a record high of $2,219.51 an ounce
earlier in the session on concerns of a supply deficit, and was
last up 0.9% to $2,213.54.
    "The underlying fundamentals with tight supply and demand
balance is the key factor which continues to be supportive for
prices," ING's Patterson said.
    Silver        rose 0.3% to $17.84 per ounce, while platinum
       advanced 1% to $992.65.

 (Reporting by Sumita Layek in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian
Schmollinger and Louise Heavens)
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