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Gold dips on Sino-U.S. trade optimism, firm dollar

Monday,   13-Jan-2020   09:03 AM (IST)

Gold prices fell on Monday as expectations of an interim trade deal signing between the United States and China boosted the dollar and dented some of bullion's safe-haven appeal. Spot gold dipped 0.4% to $1,555.76 per ounce by 0131 GMT. U.S. gold futures fell 0.2% at $1,556.30. A Phase 1 trade deal between Washington and Beijing is due to be signed at the White House on Wednesday, although negotiations on a phase two deal could go on for months.  U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Sunday, China's commitments in the Phase 1 trade deal were not changed during a lengthy translation process and will be released this week. A Wall Street Journal report said on Saturday Washington and Beijing have agreed to having semi-annual talks aimed at pushing for reforms in both countries and resolving disputes. Gold prices had gained 18% last year on the backdrop of a protracted trade tussle between the world's top two economies and its impact on global growth. Asian shares paused near 19-month peaks ahead of the expected signing on a trade deal. The dollar index nudged higher boosted by optimism ahead of a trade agreement finalisation, making gold more expensive for buyers using other currencies. Washington on Friday rejected Iraq's request to pull out its troops, amid heightened U.S.-Iranian tensions. Physical gold demand improved in India in the second half of last week as domestic prices slipped from a record high,  though demand in other Asian regions was dented by a spike in global prices to their highest in nearly seven years. SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.86% to 874.52 tonnes on Friday from 882.12 tonnes on Thursday. Hedge funds and money managers increased their bullish positions in COMEX gold and trimmed their positions in silver contracts in the week to Jan. 7, data showed on Friday. Elsewhere, palladium rose 0.2% to $2,121.95 an ounce. Silver was down 0.2% to $18.05 per ounce, while platinum edged 0.1% lower to $977.04.