Gold range bound as dollar caps gains; investors eye trade talks

  • Spot gold was steady at $1,312.56 per ounce as of 0419 GMT
  • Somber U.S. retail sales fanned concerns of slowing economic momentum in the world's largest economy, while an unexpected increase in the number of Americans filing claims for unemployment benefits last week and a second straight monthly decline in producer prices in January dimmed investor sentiment.
Gold
Getty Images

Gold traded in a tight $3 range on Friday as concerns over an economic slowdown supported prices for the safe-haven metal and a firm dollar kept a lid on gains.

Investors are also awaiting further developments from ongoing U.S.-China trade talks before making any big moves.

Spot gold was steady at $1,312.56 per ounce as of 0419 GMT, while U.S. gold futures were up 0.1 percent at $1,315.40.

"Uncertainties around Brexit and trade talks and strengthening of the dollar are capping gold prices," said Brian Lan, managing director at dealer GoldSilver Central in Singapore.

"Until there is resolution to these global concerns we might see gold prices range bound between $1,305 and $1,326."

The dollar measured against six of its peers was up 0.1 percent at 97.04, after weakening by 0.12 percent in the previous session.

Two White House negotiators will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping later on Friday, but there has been no decision to extend a U.S. deadline for a deal by March 1, U.S. President Donald Trump's economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on Thursday.

U.S. tariffs on $200 billion worth of imports from China are scheduled to rise to 25 percent from 10 percent if the two sides don't reach a deal by then.

"We are now in a very tight range. People are waiting for bigger (events) to move the market," said Yuichi Ikemizu, Tokyo branch manager, ICBC Standard Bank.

Weak U.S. retail sales data will be a good reason for the U.S. Federal Reserve not to raise interest rates, which is good for gold prices, he said.

Somber U.S. retail sales fanned concerns of slowing economic momentum in the world's largest economy, while an unexpected increase in the number of Americans filing claims for unemployment benefits last week and a second straight monthly decline in producer prices in January dimmed investor sentiment.

Gold had gained 0.5 percent in the previous session, its biggest intraday gain since Jan. 30, as weak U.S. economic data increased expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve would stick to its dovish stance on monetary policy.

Outside of the United States, British Prime Minister Theresa May suffered another defeat on her Brexit strategy on Thursday, adding to worries that the United Kingdom is on course to leave the European Union on March 29 without a deal.

In other precious metals, palladium was unchanged at $1,415.00 per ounce. The metal was still on track for a second consecutive weekly gain, up about 0.7 percent so far.

Platinum fell 0.8 percent to $779.50 an ounce, while silver slipped fell 0.3 percent to $15.57, and almost 2 percent this week.