Metals Stocks: Gold edges lower as trade deal hopes dent haven appeal

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Gold futures trade lower Friday, halting a rebound after upbeat comments on the outlook for a “phase one” trade deal between the U.S. and China robbed the metal of its haven appeal.

Gold for December delivery GCZ19, -0.38%  on Comex was off $5.30, or 0.4%, at $1,468.10 an ounce, while December silver SIZ19, -0.66%  declined 14.3 cents, or 0.8%, to $16.885 an ounce.

Analysts tied weakness to remarks by White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow late Thursday, which stoked optimism for a deal without providing much in the way of detail.

“Although investors have taken some risk off the table in recent days, the gains seen in safe haven assets appear to be contained for the time being,” said Han Tan, market analyst at FXTM, in a note. “Gold’s latest climb was capped at $1475, U.S. 10-year Treasury yields bounced off the 1.80% mark, while the Japanese Yen strengthened to 108.24 versus the U.S. dollar before giving up some of its advances.”

Kudlow said negotiators are getting close to an agreement, but that President Donald Trump wasn’t yet ready to sign off. Trump “likes what he sees, he’s not ready to make a commitment, he hasn’t signed off on a commitment for phase one, we heave no agreement just yet for phase one,” he said at a Council on Foreign Relations event, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Optimism over a so-called phase one agreement between the U.S. and China has waxed and waned over the past week. Expectations for a quick signing of the partial agreement have cooled following news reports that have pointed to snags between U.S. and Chinese negotiators. These reportedly include a reluctance by China to commit to a numerical threshold for purchases of U.S. farm products and a debate over whether existing U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports should be rolled back as part of the agreement.

In other metals trade, January platinum PLF20, +0.58%  rose 0.5% to $887 an ounce, while December palladium PAZ19, -0.18%  fell 0.3% to $1,697.80 an ounce.

December copper HGZ19, +0.48%  rose 0.6% to $2.6355 a pound.

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