September 26, 2019 / 4:49 AM / 21 days ago

PRECIOUS-Gold steadies after 2% slide but firmer dollar limits upside

* Spot gold may fall to $1,488/oz - technicals

* SPDR Gold Trust holdings rose 1.8% on Wednesday

* GRAPHIC-2019 asset returns: tmsnrt.rs/2jvdmXl (Adds comments, details, updates prices)

By Eileen Soreng

Sept 26 (Reuters) - Gold steadied on Thursday after the previous session’s near 2% slide, with lower prices tempting some buyers back to the market as uncertainty over the U.S.-China trade war persisted, but a firmer dollar capping gains.

The U.S. currency rose across the board on Wednesday after Democrats in the House of Representatives launched an impeachment inquiry against U.S. President Donald Trump, prompting investors to seek refuge in the dollar.

That sparked a 1.8% slide in gold prices, their biggest one-day percentage drop in three weeks.

Spot gold showed signs of recovery on Thursday, rising 0.3% at $1,507.86 per ounce by 0806 GMT. U.S. gold futures were up 0.2% at $1,514.80 per ounce.

“Yesterday’s 2% fall is a very good opportunity to buy gold,” said Vandana Bharti, assistant vice-president of commodity research at SMC Comtrade.

“Given the uncertainties surrounding geopolitical headlines such as the U.S.-China trade spat and Trump’s impeachment inquiry, the market is not leaving any opportunity to buy gold if they see any correction.”

The dollar index held steady near multi-week highs on Thursday as investors struggled to make sense of President Trump’s mixed signals on a trade deal with China.

Trump said on Wednesday a deal to end the trade war could happen sooner than people think. However that followed sharp criticism of China earlier in the week, when in a speech to the United Nations he said he would not accept a “bad deal”.

Asian stocks pared gains on Thursday as optimism faded for a quick resolution to the trade spat, which some analysts say could have global repercussions.

IG Markets analyst Kyle Rodda said evidence that the global economy is slowing and policymakers will potentially partake in new quantitative easing programmes suggested rates and yields were likely to fall, potentially benefitting non-yielding gold.

“Gold’s price from a fundamental perspective is still supported,” he said.

Indicative of investor sentiment, holdings of the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, the SPDR Gold Trust , rose 1.8% to 924.94 tonnes on Wednesday, their highest since November 2016.

Spot gold is likely to fall to $1,488 per ounce, as it has broken support at $1,514, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.

Among other precious metals, spot silver rose 0.2% to $17.94 per ounce. Palladium and platinum were up 0.5% at $1,650.51 and $929.75 per ounce respectively.

Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu, Rashmi Aich and Jan Harvey

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