Metals Stocks: Gold caught flat-footed on optimism over U.S. – China trade

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Gold futures were little changed Tuesday, pinned down by upbeat expectations around U.S.-China trade talks that have dulled the metal’s haven appeal.

Gold for December delivery GCZ19, -0.03%  on Comex was off 40 cents, or less than 0.1%, at $1,456.50 an ounce, while December silver SIZ19, -0.07%  edged 0.6 cent lower to $16.88 an ounce.

“The cautious optimism that still prevails among market participants as regards the trade dispute between the U.S. and China is preventing the gold price from recovering,” said Daniel Briesemann, commodity analyst at Commerzbank, in a note.

Top Chinese and U.S. negotiators agreed on talks toward a preliminary “phase one” deal, China’s Commerce Ministry said Tuesday. The ministry said Vice Premier Liu He, the country’s top negotiator, spoke by phone with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin — a conversation the official Xinhua News Agency described as focused on “solving issues regarding each other’s core concerns…”

Upbeat expectations around a trade deal helped contribute to a round of record closes for U.S. stocks on Monday. Stock-index futures pointed to a flat start for Wall Street on Tuesday.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, in remarks Monday evening, outlined an optimistic view of the U.S. economy but signaled that low inflation would likely keep rates low.

In other metals trade, January platinum PLF20, -0.12%  rose 0.2% to $902 an ounce, while December palladium PAZ19, -0.93%  was off 0.2% at $1,767.80 an ounce.

December copper HGZ19, -0.04%  fell 0.1% to $2.6455 a pound.

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