January 14, 2020 / 11:07 AM / 14 days ago

PRECIOUS-Gold dips ahead of U.S.-China deal, palladium hits record high

 (Updates prices)
    * Palladium hits record high of $2,155.01 
    * Silver drops to lowest since late December
    * U.S. removes currency manipulator label for China
    * Federal Reserve's Beige Book due at 1900 GMT on Wednesday

    By K. Sathya Narayanan
    Jan 14 (Reuters) - Gold slipped to more than one-week low on
Tuesday as strength in equities markets and hopes for a smooth
signing of the U.S.-China Phase 1 trade deal tarnished bullion's
safe-haven appeal, while palladium hit a record high.
    Spot gold        dipped 0.4% to $1,542.50 an ounce by 1300
GMT after touching their lowest since Jan. 3 at $1,535.63. U.S.
gold futures         dropped 0.5% to $1,543.10.
    "As long as stocks continue to make these record highs,
there is no real need for the insurance policies you'll find in
gold," Saxo Bank analyst Ole Hansen said.
    "We have the signing of the trade deal ... we are probably
not going to see anyone rocking the boat at this stage, but
nevertheless it will give the market an opportunity to read the
text and see what's in the deal."
    Only a day before the Phase 1 trade deal signing, the U.S.
Treasury on Monday dropped China's designation as a currency
manipulator, fuelling market optimism.             
    Global equities are at record highs but the tide turned at
the opening of European markets as traders took profits ahead of
the trade deal.            
    "In the current market environment, characterised as it is
by high risk appetite among market participants, gold is not in
demand," Commerzbank analysts wrote in a note.
    "The news backdrop at present is not conducive to rising
gold prices and is more likely to cause the correction to
continue."
    Bullion rose to its highest in nearly seven years last week
on worries over potential military conflict between the United
States and Iran, but the rally faded in the absence of any
further escalation in tensions.
    Analysts said investors are still taking some profits after
the massive spike in prices.
    "That has also been noted in the exchange-traded funds
market, where there have been some quite sizeable reductions
since we reached that high," Saxo Bank's Hansen said.          
    Also on investors' radar was the Fed's Beige Book, a summary
of commentary on economic conditions, due on Wednesday.
    Palladium hit a record high of $2,155.01 an ounce and was on
track for a ninth straight session of gains, supported by a
sustained supply deficit. 
    The metal widely used in catalytic converters in automobile
exhaust systems was up 0.9% at $2,151.71.
    Elsewhere, silver        was down 1.2% at $17.74 after
hitting its lowest since Dec. 24 at $17.64 and platinum       
slipped by 0.6% to $967.86.

 (Reporting by K. Sathya Narayanan in Bengaluru
Editing by David Evans and David Goodman
)
  
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