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Gold firm as investors await clarity on Trump's tariff plan


By N R

(Reuters) - Gold prices held steady on Thursday as investors awaited more details on U.S. Donald Trump's and aluminium tariffs, the outcome of the European Central Bank's policy meeting, and U.S. jobs data.

Spot gold rose 0.2 percent to $1,328.81 per ounce by 0804 GMT. It hit a one-week high on Wednesday at $1,340.42, before closing lower at $1,325.49 an ounce. U.S. gold futures were up 0.1 percent at $1,329.

"We see gold as a good hedge against rising equity market volatility and heightened political risks around trade tariffs, the NAFTA deal and North Korea," analysts said in a note.

Asian shares found some relief on Thursday as fears about a global trade war amid Trump's push to introduce protectionist tariffs were tempered by signs that the move could include carve-outs for key partners.

The said late Wednesday that Canada, and possibly other countries may be exempted at least for a while from the and aluminium tariffs.

Trump is expected to sign a presidential proclamation establishing the tariffs during a ceremony scheduled for 2030 GMT on Thursday, a source familiar with the situation said.

"Gold is going to be choppy here and remain in rangebound trading ... It is finding some support in the downside around $1,300 levels due to safe haven demand," said Peter Fung, of dealing at Wing Fung Precious Metals in Hong Kong.

Investors are also awaiting U.S. non-farm payroll data due on Friday for more clarity on the pace of U.S rate hikes.

Businesses are reporting persistent labour market tightness across the United States, with accelerating wage gains in many regions, the said on Wednesday in a report that bolstered the case for interest rate increases.

"In the medium-term, gold will come under some pressure from interest rate hikes and will recover as it has done in the past," Fung said.

The is all but certain to keep policy unchanged on Thursday but may tweak its communication stance to offer at least a few clues about its progress towards ending its unprecedented bond purchases later this year.

Meanwhile, holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 0.03 percent to 833.73 tonnes on Wednesday from Tuesday.

Spot silver rose 0.4 percent to $16.55 an ounce. Platinum was down 0.1 percent at $951.80, after hitting its lowest since Jan. 4 at $945.70 in the previous session.

Palladium edged up 0.4 percent to $972, after dropping to its lowest since Feb. 9 at $961.55 on Wednesday.

(Reporting by in Bengaluru; Editing by and Subhranshu Sahu)

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, March 08 2018. 13:47 IST