Gold rallies 1.4 pct as potential North Korea talks hurt dollar

Key Points
  • Asian shares regained some ground on Tuesday after U.S. President Donald Trump faced growing pressure from political allies to pull back from proposed steel and aluminium tariffs.

Gold prices rose more than 1 percent on Tuesday as the U.S. dollar slid after North Korea signaled that it is open to nuclear talks and investors worried about aggressive U.S. trade policy.

Spot gold gained 1.19 percent at $1,335.66 per ounce at 2:38 p.m. EST, while U.S. gold futures for April delivery settled up $15.30, or 1.2 percent, at $1,335.20.

"As a result of the weaker dollar, gold — together with oil and industrial metals — has benefited from the North Korean news," said Saxo Bank's Ole Hansen. "This (is) despite the potential for lowering the geopolitical risk should we move towards a denuclearized Korean peninsular."

The greenback hit a two-week low as traders bet on riskier currencies and assets on news North and South Korea would hold their first summit in more than a decade and after the South said the North was willing to discuss denuclearization with the United States.

Gold prices rose 1.4 percent to $1,338.49 per ounce, their highest since Feb. 26, surpassing a key level. "Gold broke through the 50-day moving average at $1,329, and probably triggered some buy stops," said Phillip Streible, senior commodities strategist at RJO Futures.

Resistance is around the $1,350-$1,357 per ounce range, said technical analyst Fawad Razaqzada. "A break above this zone is still required before we turn decidedly bullish on gold again."

Stocks fell in the United States and edged higher in Europe, but a global gauge of major equity markets was up, boosted by gains in Asia after stocks were battered Monday on concerns over a global trade war. Worries that proposed tariffs by the Trump administration could touch off a trade war have eased somewhat.

Still, uncertainty has helped to keep the dollar on the back foot and shored up interest in gold as a safe haven. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the Trump administration will try to keep any new steel and aluminum tariffs from hurting the economy.

Among other precious metals, silver increased 2.1 percent at $16.77 an ounce after hitting $16.86, a 2-1/2-week high. Platinum rose 0.85 percent at $969.20 per ounce. Palladium gained 0.4 percent at $986.60 per ounce, earlier hitting a three-week low of $974.

The autocatalyst metal has run into strong support at $975 an ounce, a key retracement of its Jan 2016-Jan 2018 rally, after falling more than 5 percent last week.