November 25, 2019 / 2:51 PM / 16 days ago

PRECIOUS-Gold slides to two-week low on hopes for thaw in trade feud

    * Specs raise bullish bets on gold, silver in week to Nov.
19
    * Palladium hits more than two-week high
    * GRAPHIC-2018 asset returns: tmsnrt.rs/2jvdmXl

 (Updates prices)
    By K. Sathya Narayanan
    Nov 25 (Reuters) - Gold fell for a fourth straight session
on Monday, hitting a two-week low as investors' appetite for
riskier assets increased on renewed optimism that a resolution
to the protracted U.S.-China trade conflict will soon be
reached.
    Spot gold        fell 0.4% to $1,455.87 per ounce as of
01:58 p.m. EST (1858 GMT), after touching its lowest level since
Nov. 12 at $1,453.40. 
    U.S. gold futures         settled 0.5% lower at $1,456.90
per ounce.
    "There is some renewed risk-on (sentiment) in the market
based on the news from the trade deal front ... we have seen the
bonds trade a tad weaker, yen trading softer as well and gold
drifting lower," said Saxo Bank commodity strategist Ole Hansen.
    Hansen added that the stock market "is trading on the
assumption that a trade deal of some sort will be reached."
    World shares staged a cautious rally, while the safe-haven
Japanese yen fell to a one-week low against the U.S. dollar.
                 
    Beijing and Washington were "very close" to an initial trade
agreement, Chinese newspaper Global Times reported, citing
experts close to the talks.             
    Adding to the positive mood was the weekend announcement
that China would seek to improve protections for intellectual
property rights, a sticking point in the talks.             
    Intellectual property rights protection "is a key element
the U.S. wants China to reform in order to reach a trade deal.
It could be that the U.S.'s hard-line approach on the trade deal
with China is putting pressure on China to get a deal completed
soon," Kitco Metals senior analyst Jim Wyckoff said in a note.
    Still, investors remained cautious, with officials,
lawmakers and trade experts from both sides saying an ambitious
"phase two" trade deal looked less likely.              
    "There is no major selling in the gold market, which might
suggest that people are still sceptical about these
developments," Julius Baer analyst Carsten Menke said. "They see
them as some sort of temporary relief, not a real longer-term
solution."
    Speculators increased their bullish positions in COMEX gold
and silver in the week to Nov. 19, the U.S. Commodity Futures
Trading Commission (CFTC) said on Friday.             
    Silver        fell 0.6% to $16.90 per ounce, after touching
its lowest price in a week.
    Palladium        rose 1.3% to $1,799.04 per ounce, having
earlier hit its highest level since Nov. 7. Platinum        was
up 0.6% at $896.75 per ounce.

 (Reporting by K. Sathya Narayanan and Eileen Soreng in
Bengaluru
Editing by Matthew Lewis and Tom Brown)
  
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