December 26, 2019 / 5:50 AM / a month ago

CORRECTED-PRECIOUS-Gold rises above $1,500 level as investors await trade deal signing

 (Corrects to read in nearly two months, paragraph 1)
    * Gold prices flipping from bearish to bullish trend -
analyst
    * Silver hits highest since Nov. 5
    * Platinum climbs to over 1-1/2-month high
    * GRAPHIC-2019 asset returns: tmsnrt.rs/2jvdmXl

    By Asha Sistla
    Dec 26 (Reuters) - Gold prices rose above the key $1,500 per
ounce level on Thursday to hit their highest in nearly two
months, as uncertainty around the signing of a trade deal
between the United States and China boosted safe-haven flows
into the metal.
    Spot gold        rose 0.3% to $1,503.16 per ounce by 0709
GMT. Prices hit their highest since Nov. 5 earlier in the
session at $1,505.32. U.S. gold futures         were up 0.2% to
$1,508.00 per ounce.
    "The data was weak before Christmas from the U.S. and we
haven't seen anything signed or concrete yet in terms of the
phase one trade deal ... so the market is unsure whether that
will come true," said Brian Lan, managing director at dealer
GoldSilver Central in Singapore.
    China's Commerce Ministry said on Thursday that Beijing and
Washington were still in the process of completing necessary
procedures while maintaining close communication to sign the
deal.             
    U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday there would be a
signing ceremony with the Chinese President Xi Jinping for the
first phase of the agreement.                         
    Lingering concerns over growth remained as data on Monday
showed that new orders for key U.S.-made capital goods hardly
rose in November and shipments fell, suggesting business
investment will probably remain a drag on the economy in the
fourth quarter.             
    Economic data from the United States is keenly watched for
cues on the central bank's future monetary trajectory. Gold is
sensitive to rising interest rates, which lift its opportunity
cost.
    The metal has gained about 17% so far this year and is on
track for its best year since 2010, due mainly to the protracted
tariff dispute and its impact on the global economy. 
    "The catalyst for next year is the U.S.-China trade friction
with many unsolved issues, then there's Brexit by January end
and the U.S. election in November - all these uncertainties
could lead to a temporary spike in gold prices," said Margaret
Yang Yan, a market analyst at CMC Markets.
    "Technically, gold prices have broken out above and trending
upwards. It's flipping from a bearish to a bullish trend." 
    Among other precious metals, silver        firmed 1% to
$17.95 per ounce, after having hit its highest since Nov. 5
earlier in the session at $18.01.
    Platinum        advanced 1% to $947.85, after having touched
its highest since Nov. 4 earlier in the session at $954.03 per
ounce, while palladium        rose 0.6% to $1,894.08 per ounce.

 (Reporting by Asha Sistla in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich
and Subhranshu Sahu)
  
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