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Gold flat as markets eye trade talk cues, Brexit deal

(Reuters) - Gold prices were little changed on Monday as investors waited for more clarity on U.S.-China trade negotiations, and Brexit after British parliamentarians delayed a crucial vote on the divorce deal.

A gold bar is pictured in the safe deposit boxes room of the Pro Aurum gold house in Munich, Germany, August 14, 2019. REUTERS/Michael Dalder/File Photo

Spot gold was flat at $1,490.23 per ounce as of 0720 GMT. U.S. gold futures dipped slightly to $1,493.40.

Asian shares edged higher, limiting bullion’s gains, with MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan up 0.3%.

“The markets are quite long, and people are worried about the trade war. Investors are waiting for pull backs in gold to step in again,” AxiTrader market strategist Stephen Innes said.

“What has been supportive for gold are recessionary fears, and provided that remains in the headlines, it is a significant reason to stay long gold. Right now, there is no major catalyst to drive it any direction.”

The long-standing Sino-U.S. trade war has taken a toll on economies around the world with Japan’s exports down for a 10th straight month, South Korean exports plunging 19.5% in October, and Thai exports missing expectations.

In China, new home prices grew at a steady pace in September, a relief for policymakers who remain wary of high debt and bubble risk, and are refraining from stimulating the sector as the economy cools.

Providing little comfort to market sentiment, British Lawmakers on Saturday voted to withhold a decision on Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s deal, a move that forced him to seek from the EU a third postponement of Britain’s departure from the bloc.

The vote for an extension dealt a blow to optimism that a deal agreed last week would ensure Brexit happens with little economic disruption.

Spot gold looks neutral in a range of $1,479-$1,502 per ounce, and an escape could suggest a direction, Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao said.

Among other precious metals, silver rose 0.9% to $17.70 per ounce, and platinum rose 0.4% to $892.84.

Meanwhile, palladium gained 0.6% to $1,765.81 an ounce, slightly lower than a high of $1,783.21 it struck on Thursday.

“Sell rates for palladium reached the highest level since January. This suggests the recent rally has been driven by fundamentals, rather than speculative interest,” ANZ Bank said in a note.

“And with the market likely to remain tight for the foreseeable future, we believe there is plenty more upside for (palladium)prices.”

Reporting by Karthika Suresh Namboothiri in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich