Gold inches down as easing U.S.-Iran tensions whet risk appetite

 Gold inches down as easing U.S.-Iran tensions whet risk appetite

(Reuters) - Gold prices edged lower on Friday, having declined as much as 1% in the previous session, as de-escalation in U.S.-Iran tensions brought relief to markets and boosted investors' appetite for riskier assets.

FUNDAMENTALS

- Spot gold fell 0.1% to $1,551.02 per ounce by 0045 GMT. Prices hit their lowest since Jan. 3 at $1,539.78 in the previous session. U.S. gold futures eased 0.2% to $1,551.40.

- Markets received a respite after U.S. President Donald Trump responded to Iran's missile attacks with sanctions instead of military action.

- World's shares hit a record high on relief as Mideast tensions subsided.

- The U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution on Thursday to stop Trump from further military action against Iran, days after he ordered a drone strike that killed a top Iranian commander and raised fears of war.

- Investors are now focused on a 'Phase 1' trade deal signing between Washington and Beijing next week.

- However, large Chinese purchases of Brazilian soybeans and a pair of unexpected policy moves by Beijing have dimmed U.S. hopes that China would double its imports of American farm products this year.

- Trump said his administration will start negotiating the 'Phase 2' agreement soon but that he might wait to complete any deal until after November's U.S. presidential election.

- The global trade wars may not be over, but U.S. Federal Reserve officials on Thursday said the economy may have weathered the worst of it as risks begin to ease and businesses adjust to a new trade environment.

- Sudan has begun allowing private traders to export gold, a measure designed to crack down on smuggling and attract foreign currency into the country's cash-strapped treasury.

- Reflecting investor sentiment, holdings of the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund SPDR Gold Trust , fell 0.5% to 882.12 tonnes on Thursday.

- Elsewhere, palladium gained 0.4% to $2,114.94 an ounce, having hit a record peak of $2,149.50 in the previous session on supply woes. For the week, the metal was set to register its best week since mid-June.

- Silver was flat at $17.89 per ounce, and was on track to post its worst week in five, while platinum inched up 0.2% to $968.41.

(Reporting by Sumita Layek in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)

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Updated Date: Jan 10, 2020 07:07:39 IST