Gold steadies, on track for second week of gains

BENGALURU: Gold edged up on Friday after posting its biggest per centage fall in over two weeks in the previous session, and was set to post a small gain for a second week running amid tensions over Syria and a US-China trade stand-off.

FUNDAMENTALS

Spot gold rose 0.2 per cent to $ 1,337.17 an ounce as of 0046 GMT, and was set for a weekly gain of 0.3 per cent. US gold futures fell 0.2 per cent to $ 1,339.90 an ounce.

Gold prices dropped 1.3 per cent on Thursday, the biggest one-day per centage fall since March 28, a day after bullion climbed to its highest in 11-weeks.

President Donald Trump and his national security aides on Thursday discussed US options on Syria, where he has threatened missile strikes in response to a suspected poison gas attack, as a Russian envoy voiced fears of wider conflict between Washington and Moscow.

British Prime Minister Theresa May summoned her senior ministers to a special cabinet meeting on Thursday to discuss joining the United States and France in possible military action against Syria after a suspected poison gas attack on civilians.

World trade in goods is maintaining a robust recovery, but it still might falter if trade tensions escalate further, the World Trade Organization said in its annual forecast on Thursday.

China’s commerce ministry said on Thursday trade negotiations with the United States would be impossible as Washington’s attempts at dialogue were not sincere, and vowed to retaliate if US President Donald Trump escalates current tensions.

New applications for US unemployment benefits fell last week, pointing to sustained labor market strength despite a sharp slowdown in job growth in March.

Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust , the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose 0.69 per cent to 865.89 tonnes on Thursday.

Global silver physical demand dropped to its lowest level in five years during 2017, led largely by a steep decline in coin and bar demand, even as industrial demand increased, according to Thomson Reuters GFMS.

South Africa’s gold output dropped 7.1 per cent year on year in February, Statistics South Africa monthly mining production data showed on Thursday.