Futures & Commodities

Gold rises to more than 3-week high as trade concerns unnerve markets

Edgar Su | Reuters

Gold prices hit their highest in more than three weeks on Wednesday as renewed concern over the U.S.-China trade dispute and its potential impact on global growth curbed investors' appetite for risk, spurring some demand for safe-haven assets.

Spot gold rose 0.4 percent to $1,289.09 per ounce, having hit its highest since April 15 at $1,290.42 earlier in the session.

U.S. gold futures gained 0.4 percent to $1,290.30.

Some in the market expect the gold price rally to be limited, with the weakness in equity markets seen as temporary.

"So far Trump's tariff threat has had much bigger impact on the stock markets than precious metals. While gold is drawing support from the scenario, investors are not accumulating the metal," said Carlo Alberto De Casa, chief analyst with ActivTrades.

U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted on Sunday he would raise tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, while Washington accused Beijing of backtracking from commitments made during trade negotiations.

World shares tumbled towards five-week lows as investors moved into the perceived safety of bonds, the Japanese yen and gold.

"Bond yields are falling again which is further good news for the precious metal as the lower yields boost the value of non-interest bearing assets on a relative basis," Fawad Razaqzada, market analyst with Forex.com, wrote in a note.

U.S. Treasury yields fell to five-week lows on worries about upcoming trade negotiations between China and the United States.

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He will visit the United States on Thursday for trade talks and additional tariffs are set to take effect on Friday if a trade agreement is not reached by then.

After stabilising around $1,280, gold is seeing some upside momentum in the near term, analysts at bullion trader Wing Fung said in a research note, adding resistance at $1,300 would still be hard to break.

Spot gold may test resistance at $1,291 per ounce, a break above which could lead to a gain to next resistance at $1,299, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.

Despite weak buying in biggest bullion consumer China so far this year, analysts and traders expect resilient Indian buying to support physical demand.

Indians are expected to buy at least 10 percent more gold during the annual Hindu and Jain holy festival of Akshaya Tritiya than a year ago, supporting physical demand in Asia.