December 18, 2019 / 4:31 AM / a month ago

PRECIOUS-Gold muted as investors await trade deal details; palladium falls

 (Updates prices, adds comments, details)
    * Dollar index near one-week high
    * SPDR Gold Trust Holdings fall 0.6%
    * GRAPHIC-2019 asset returns: tmsnrt.rs/2jvdmXl 

    By Asha Sistla
    Dec 18 (Reuters) - Gold prices were largely subdued on
Wednesday, with investors awaiting more details on the
U.S.-China trade deal, while palladium retreated from last
session's record peak.
    Spot gold        edged up 0.1% to $1,477.79 per ounce by
0824 GMT. U.S. gold futures         rose 0.1% to $1,482.20.
    "Gold is in sort of a holding pattern and one of the key
reasons behind this is that the macro picture has been positive
on the trade deal and it has obviously capped gold prices," said
ING analyst Warren Patterson. 
    "But the main issue is they are not saying anything
significant on the back of this deal and details around the
trade deal are still lacking, there's that element of
uncertainty."
    U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Tuesday said
details of Chinese purchases across various sectors in the
United States in the "phase one" deal would be detailed in
writing, but gave no further details about when the written
agreement would be released.             
    Bullion's upside remained capped by positive U.S. economic
data that underpinned the dollar and stock markets.
    The dollar index        hovered near a one-week high against
a basket of rival currencies, while Asian shares camped out at
18-month peaks having climbed for five straight sessions.
                  
    U.S. manufacturing production recovered in November and
housing numbers rose beyond expectations with permits for future
home construction soaring to a 12-1/2-year high on lower
mortgage rates.                          
    Reflecting investor interest in bullion, holdings of the
world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, SPDR Gold
Trust      , fell 0.6% on Tuesday.          
    "The SPDR gold exchange-traded funds (ETF) witnessed
liquidation. But gold is not falling because of demonstrations
by New Yorkers for U.S. President Donald Trump's impeachment,"
said Jigar Trivedi, a commodities analyst at Mumbai-based Anand
Rathi Shares & Stock Brokers.              
    "There is also fear of recession in Germany, and fear of
no-deal Brexit," Trivedi said, adding that the outlook is still
positive for gold next year.             
    Britain on Tuesday set a hard deadline of December 2020 to
reach a new trade deal with the European Union, reviving fears
of a chaotic exit from the bloc.             
    Palladium        fell 0.6% to $1,943.53 an ounce, retreating
from an all-time peak of $1,998.43 hit in the previous session.
    "The market set their sights on the key target, once we did
that, we definitely did see some profit-taking - that's the
reason we saw that price inflection," ING's Patterson said.
    Silver        rose 0.3% to $17.05 per ounce, while platinum
       advanced 0.2% to $929.21.

 (Reporting by Asha Sistla in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich
and Uttaresh.V, editing by Louise Heavens)
  
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