Metals Stocks: Gold presses back above $1,500 as trade jitters return

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Gold futures moved higher Thursday, finding modest, haven-related support after a news report said China officials have doubts over prospects for a long-term trade deal with the U.S.

Gold for December delivery GCZ19, +1.04%  on Comex rose $11.90, or 0.8%, to trade at $1,508.50 an ounce, while December silver SIZ19, +1.33%  gained 17.3 cents, or 0.9%, to trade at $18.04 an ounce.

Chinese officials are expressing doubt about the ability to reach a comprehensive, long-term trade deal with the U.S. despite progress toward signing a “phase one” agreement, Bloomberg reported Thursday. The report said Chinese officials have concerns about President Donald Trump’s impulsive nature and fear he could even back out of the limited deal that both Beijing and Washington have signaled they want to sign in coming weeks.

“Gold is rallying on expectations the U.S.-China trade war will not be ending anytime soon,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda, in a note.

”China basically said what everyone was already thinking, that this trade war will likely drag beyond the 2020 U.S. presidential election and this big macro risk will keep gold supported,” he said.

Gold ended higher on Wednesday but then retreated in electronic trade after the Federal Reserve, as expected, cut its benchmark interest rate for the third time in as many meetings but signaled it may pause before making further changes to its monetary policy settings.

In other metals trade, December palladium PAZ19, -1.41%  was off 0.7% at $1,779.90 an ounce, while January platinum PLF20, +1.24%  rose 0.3% to $933.10 an ounce.

December copper HGZ19, -0.84%  fell 1% to $2.658 a pound.