Gold steady as traders watch for developments on trade and Brexit

Gold prices steadied on Friday, settling into a narrow range as investors awaited more clarity on global uncertainties including trade and Brexit, helping the metal shake off initial declines driven by hopes for a breakthrough in the US-China talks.

Palladium, meanwhile, was down 0.1% at $1,698.33/oz, as of 3.06am GMT, but held close to Thursday’s all-time peak of $1,704.59/oz, putting it on track for an about 2% weekly gain.

Spot gold inched 0.2% higher to $1,496.49/oz, while US gold futures were little changed at $1,501.00/oz.

“We have news that is positive in terms of trade talks, but no actual resolution yet. The market is still a little sceptical,” said Brian Lan, MD at dealer GoldSilver Central in Singapore.

“A few things are still hanging, including a no-deal Brexit. Time is ticking but not much progress is happening. The [situation in] Hong Kong is also not resolved.”

Equity markets gained after US President Donald Trump said he would meet China’s top trade negotiator, while a White House official said the first day of talks had gone “probably better than expected.”

While the two sides could reach some sort of agreements on aspects such as currencies and copyright protections, they were not expected to address the most contentious issues.

Also helping gold, the dollar, which has emerged as an alternative safe-haven during the trade war, was a shade weaker versus its rivals.

Over to Brexit, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said on Thursday a deal could be clinched by end-October to allow the UK to leave the EU in an orderly fashion, after what he called a very positive meeting with Boris Johnson.

However, with just three weeks to go before the UK is due to leave the world’s biggest trading bloc, it remains unclear on what terms it will leave or indeed whether it will leave at all.

On the technical front, support for gold was around the $1,486/oz-$1460/oz with resistance coming in around $1,520/oz, Oanda analyst Jeffrey Halley said in a note.

“We would expect gold to find some support in Asia as traders hedge weekend risk. Otherwise, it will be a case of hurry-up-and-wait for the main event in Washington DC this afternoon and evening.”

Investors will also keep a close eye on any cues from the US Federal Reserve, with data on Thursday showing US consumer prices were unchanged in September while underlying inflation retreated, supporting expectations the Fed will cut interest rates in October.

In other metals, platinum eased 0.1% to $898.83/oz, while silver rose 0.4% to $17.55/oz.