Gold futures pared their weekly gain on Friday as progress in the US-Chinese trade talks weighed against weaker-than-expected U.S. data that reinforced expectations the Federal Reserve will cut borrowing costs next week.
The US and China are close to finishing some sections of phase one of the trade agreement, officials said in a statement. Trump has said he wants to sign the first phase of a trade deal with China in November. The progress caused a pullback in demand for gold as a haven, sending the metal for immediate delivery as much as 0.2% lower.
Still, bullion futures are up 0.7% this week, trading above $1,500 an ounce, as attention shifted to the Fed’s Oct. 29-30 gathering, when officials are expected to reduce interest rates by a quarter percentage point. Lower borrowing costs increase the appeal of non-interest bearing precious metals.
“The gold rally continues, along with palladium and silver as price breakouts make news and attract momentum traders following worried investors globally,” George Gero, a managing director at RBC Wealth Management, said in an emailed note Friday.
Bullion has gained about 17% this year as many central banks adopt looser monetary policy in efforts to support their economies hurt by trade wars.
Geopolitical uncertainty around the globe has also supported haven demand for gold. French President Emmanuel Macron blocked the European Union’s attempt to delay Brexit for three months. Concerns over a U.S. presidential impeachment and the nation’s trade war with China could also mean more gains for the metal, Richard Hayes, chief executive officer of the Perth Mint, said Friday in a Bloomberg TV interview.
Gold futures settled less than 1% higher to $1,505.30 an ounce at 1:30 p.m. on the Comex in New York, after reaching the highest in two weeks.
Silver futures also advanced on Friday. On the New York Mercantile Exchange platinum posted a fourth straight gain, and palladium slipped, but managed a 1.5% weekly increase.
(By Justina Vasquez and Elena Mazneva, with assistance from Ranjeetha Pakiam)