Gold steady, investors focus on Trump agenda | Reuters
By Pratima Desai | LONDON LONDON Gold prices held firm near one-month highs on Tuesday, supported by political and economic uncertainty in the United States and expectations of a lower dollar.Spot gold was up 0.2 percent at $1,256.6 an ounce at 1345 GMT, having touched its highest in a month at $1,261.03 on Monday. U.S
By Pratima Desai
LONDON Gold prices held firm near one-month highs on Tuesday, supported by political and economic uncertainty in the United States and expectations of a lower dollar.Spot gold was up 0.2 percent at $1,256.6 an ounce at 1345 GMT, having touched its highest in a month at $1,261.03 on Monday. U.S. gold futures rose 0.1 percent to $1,256.6.Traders report more investor buying interest after U.S. President Donald Trump failed to push through healthcare reform last week, fuelling concern about his ability to implement his economic policies.That worry also sent the dollar to a four-and-a-half-month low against a basket of currencies on Monday. This makes dollar-denominated gold cheaper for holders of other currencies, potentially boosting demand. "The dollar has come under a lot of pressure and lifted gold," said Julius Baer analyst Carsten Menke. "Changing perceptions of the outlook for U.S. interest rates will create volatility in gold."
The U.S. Federal Reserve raised interest rates this month, boosting the dollar, which could strengthen further on expectations of further rises after comments from its policymakers.However, some analysts expect to the Fed to keep rates on hold for some time, leaving the dollar to drift lower."Dollar weakness is something that could propel prices higher, especially in light of the latest CFTC report that shows dollar longs building for a third week in a row despite ongoing weakness," INTL FCStone analyst Edward Meir said in a note.
Investor demand for gold can be seen in the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, New York-listed SPDR Gold Shares, which reported an inflow of 2.7 tonnes on Monday.Traders see technical resistance around $1,260, near the 200-day moving average, while support is expected to kick in at a Fibonacci retracement level of about $1,245.In other metals, spot silver gained 0.3 percent to $18.12 an ounce and platinum slid 0.1 percent to $962.7.
Palladium ceded by 0.6 percent to $788.5 an ounce. The industrial metal used in autocatalysts hit $815.40 last week, its highest since March last year, on expected growing demand from carmakers.Analysts, however, are not convinced the fundamentals justify current price levels."U.S. car sales are moving sideways, inventories are rising and dealers are upping incentives," Menke said."China's car sales numbers for March will be crucial; profit-taking will be triggered if weakness is confirmed. European sales are solid, but slowing from last year." (Additional reporting by Arpan Varghese in Bengaluru; Editing by Keith Weir)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.