Gold prices inch up on trade war fears

BENGALURU: Gold prices edged higher on Friday as concerns over a global trade war increased after the United States imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, Mexico and the European Union.

FUNDAMENTALS

Spot gold was up 0.1 per cent at $ 1,299.51 per ounce by 0110 GMT.

US gold futures for June delivery were down 0.1 per cent at $ 1,298.60 per ounce.

Canada and Mexico retaliated against the US decision on Thursday to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports and the European Union had its own reprisals ready to go.

US President Donald Trump on Thursday played down the chances of a quick deal in getting North Korea to abandon its nuclear arms as a delegation from Pyongyang headed to meet him with a letter from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, suggesting a proposed summit may be back on.

Italy’s anti-establishment parties revived coalition plans on Thursday, ending three months of political turmoil by announcing a government that promises to increase spending, challenge EU fiscal rules and crack down on immigration.

US consumer spending posted its biggest gain in five months in April, a further sign that economic growth was regaining momentum early in the second quarter, while inflation continued to rise steadily.

Euro zone inflation jumped far more than expected in May on higher energy costs, offering relief to the European Central Bank after market turbulence that has jeopardised its planned exit from a lavish stimulus programme.

Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust , the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 0.52 per cent to 847.03 tonnes on Thursday.

Sales of American Eagle gold coins in May increased by 433 per cent from April, and were the highest May sales since 2015, US data showed on Thursday.

Russia produced 15.67 tonnes of gold in January, up from 14.16 tonnes in the same period in 2017, the finance ministry said on Thursday.