Gold sheds 2% on US-China trade thaw signs

Gold fell as much as 2.0 per cent in a reversal from six-year highs overnight after the United States government said it would delay tariffs on some Chinese products and on news that both sides agreed to continue trade talks.

Spot gold was down 0.7 per cent at $US1,501.22 per ounce, having earlier hit its highest level since April 2013 at $US1,534.31.

US gold futures settled down 0.2 per cent to $US1,514.1 an ounce.

The Office of the US Trade Representative said President Donald Trump’s administration will delay 10 per cent tariffs on certain Chinese products, including laptops and mobile phones, that had been scheduled to start next month.

“A thawing, perhaps reconsideration of the new proposed tariffs has drained the heat from the (gold) rally for now,” said Tai Wong, head of base and precious metals derivatives trading at BMO.

“While this does not dramatically dim the overall positive outlook for gold, it will temper its momentum in the short term.”

US stocks turned positive and the US dollar rose on the news, with further momentum also coming from news that both sides had agreed to conduct phone calls on trade again in two weeks.

“Gold will be trading in a defensive position until the next two weeks; there will be some buying at the dips but the explosive moves higher we’ve seen in the last two weeks is not expected with the trade talks hanging over the market,” said Bob Haberkorn, senior market strategist at RJO Futures.

Gold’s rise to over 6-year highs earlier in the day was triggered by a rout in the Argentine peso and unrest in Hong Kong.

Market focus is now on the US Federal Reserve’s annual symposium next week for clues on the future trajectory of interest rates.

Traders see a 86.2 per cent chance of a 25 basis-point rate cut by the US central bank in September.

Meanwhile, holdings in the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, SPDR Gold Trust, jumped 0.9 per cent to 847.77 tonnes on Monday.

Among other precious metals, silver fell 0.6 per cent to $US16.96 per ounce while platinum was up 0.2 per cent to $US853.81.

Palladium gained 1.9 per cent to $US1,454.03 an ounce.

AAP

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