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Gold steady on global growth, Sino-US trade worries

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Gold prices held steady on Wednesday, as mounting concerns over a slowing global economic growth and uncertainty around Sino-US trade tensions dampened appetite for risk.

Fundamentals

Spot gold was little changed at $1,284.19 per ounce by 0112 GMT, while US gold futures were also steady at $1,283.40 per ounce. Spot gold rose 0.4 percent on Tuesday, its biggest one-day percentage gain in more than a week, as global stock markets fell on concerns over global growth. Asian stocks dipped further on Wednesday.

Investors shunned risky assets like equities as the International Monetary Fund warned of a dimmer outlook on Monday, China confirmed its slowest growth rate in nearly 30 years, and as Brexit uncertainty dragged on sentiment. The Trump administration has rejected an offer from China for preparatory trade talks this week ahead of high-level negotiations scheduled for next week, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday, citing people briefed on the talks White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told CNBC the report was not true.

As much as US President Donald Trump wants to boost markets through a trade pact with China, he will not soften his position that Beijing must make real structural reforms, including how it handles intellectual property, to reach a deal, advisers say. Recent economic data has made the situation more gloomy for investors. US home sales tumbled to their lowest level in three years in December and house price increases slowed sharply, suggesting a further loss of momentum in the housing market.

Morale among German investors improved slightly in January, but their assessment of the economy’s current condition deteriorated to a four-year low, a survey showed on Tuesday. Japan’s exports and imports also fell short of market expectations, with exports posting the biggest fall in more than two years.

South Africa’s Gold Fields said on Tuesday that rumours it was looking to merge with rival bullion firm Anglo Gold Ashanti were “absolutely false” after shares of both companies firmed on speculation of a merger. A South African union representing just under half of all workers at Sibanye-Stillwater’s platinum mine will extend a one-day strike if the company does not return to the negotiating table, its president said on Tuesday.

The Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE), one of China’s biggest commodity derivatives markets, is to end its current system of determining margin requirements based on the size of an investor’s position, it said on Tuesday.

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Courtesy: Reuters

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