Gold prices up as markets cautiously await Trump's response on HK

Gold prices rose on Friday, supported by lingering US-China trade tensions, while market participants cautiously awaited Washington’s response to the Chinese parliament’s approval of a national security law for Hong Kong.

Spot gold was up 0.4 per cent at $ 1,725.01 per ounce by 0937 GMT. US gold futures rose 0.7 per cent to $ 1,739.60.

President Donald Trump is expected to hold news conference on China later in the day as his administration moves to pressure Beijing over its treatment of Hong Kong.

“People will be looking for guidance to see whether that could trigger further escalation between the two largest economies. After Trump’s speech people will also be keen to see China’s response,” said Bank of China International analyst Xiao Fu.

“However, the current tensions could support gold prices for some time because of the safe-haven status and stimulus around the world.”

Escalating US-China tension has prompted investors to seek refuge in the safe-haven bullion, which is on track for a more than 2 per cent monthly rise.

Gold is used as a safe investment during times of political and financial uncertainty.

Further helping gold’s appeal were unprecedented stimulus measures rolled out by major central banks to limit economic damage caused by the coronavirus outbreak, analysts said.

Indicative of sentiment, SPDR Gold Trust holdings hit a seven-year high on Wednesday.

Elsewhere, silver gained 0.2 per cent to $ 17.45 per ounce and was heading for its biggest monthly gain since June 2016.

“Silver investment demand has been strong, but industrial demand has capped upside to prices; stronger o?take from manufacturers should help the white metal,” Bank of America analysts wrote in a note.

Palladium was steady at $ 1,931.03 per ounce, but was set for a third straight monthly fall. Platinum dropped 0.5 per cent to $ 833.83, but was on track for a second monthly gain.