Gold jumped more than 1% on Tuesday on fading optimism surrounding a U.S.-China trade deal after U.S. President Donald Trump said talks could extend until after the presidential elections in November 2020.
"Stock markets are lower and there is flight to safety in gold right now. Gold prices are up with what Trump said about China-U.S. tariffs," said Bob Haberkorn, senior market strategist at RJO Futures. "All signs point towards a move back above $1,485 on the February contract, which could be enough to push it above $1,500."
Trump said a trade deal with China might be delayed until after the November 2020 elections, dashing hopes that an agreement could be reached before another round of tariff hikes take effect on Dec. 15.
Gold prices have gained nearly 15% this year owing to the protracted tariff dispute, which has fanned recessionary fears and prompted central banks around the world to ease interest rates. Risk appetite was also hit on Monday after Trump tweeted he would slap tariffs on Brazil and Argentina for what he saw as both countries' "massive devaluation of their currencies."
Further dampening risk sentiment, Washington also threatened duties on French goods because of a digital services tax that could harm U.S. tech companies, to which France and the European Union said they are ready to retaliate, if those threats were to materialize.
Most other precious metals latched on to gold's rally, with silver gaining 1.6% to $17.17 per ounce and platinum up 1.3% to $909.05.
"If gold and silver heat up over the next year (because of an extended trade war), platinum will naturally get pulled in. Palladium, on the other hand, is a little too high on a lot of supply concerns," Haberkorn said.
Palladium dipped 0.2% to $1,848.11, after notching a record high of $1,861.71 in the previous session. The metal was on track to snap a seven-day winning streak.
"How high palladium can go depends on how much the car makers are willing to pay for steady supply of the metal," Saxo Bank analyst Ole Hansen said. "However, these multiple record highs may lead to a correction soon, and we may see palladium hitting $1,800 before it gets a chance to hit the $1,900 range."