- The price of gold is under pressure for a third consecutive day.
- Markets remain on edge in anticipation of fresh U.S.-China trade talks.
- Economic data could influence investors’ outlook on monetary policy following neutral Fed minutes on Wednesday.
The price of gold edged lower on Thursday, extending its losing streak to three days as investors awaited clarity on the U.S.-China trade front.
While gold has failed to attract strong bids this week, it’s trading well off recent lows and remains well supported above $1,460 an ounce. Two factors will drive the precious commodity over the next trading week: Investors’ appetite for risk and economic cues that could influence monetary policy expectations.
Gold Price Update
December gold futures tumbled 0.8% to $1,43.00 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The yellow metal was last seen hovering just below $1,469 an ounce.
Silver’s price diverged from gold’s on Thursday; the grey metal edged up 2 cents, or 0.1%, to $17.29 a troy ounce.
Gold’s premium over silver edged down 0.2% to 85.54 ounces.
U.S.-China Trade Talks in Limbo
Trade talks between the United States and China hit another roadblock this week after President Trump threatened Beijing with additional tariffs.
Several analysts, including Morgan Stanley’s Andrew Sheets, have warned that a comprehensive trade deal is nothing more than a pipe dream at this point. China is pressing the U.S. to roll back all tariffs as part of an interim agreement that could eventually pave the way for more comprehensive talks, but President Trump has refused to bite.
Nevertheless, investors are optimistic that a deal can be salvaged amid reports that China has invited U.S. negotiators for a new round of in-person talks.
While stocks have declined amid the confusion, losses have been relatively muted. The S&P 500 Index continues to hover around 3,100 while the Dow Jones Industrial Average is clinging to the 27,800 area. Without a clear narrative, equity markets are likely to remain choppy.
Economic Data in Focus
Although the Federal Reserve seems content with its latest easing campaign, investors will be closely watching economic reports to gauge the status of the U.S. economy.
Economic data out of Washington over the past week have been mixed, with retail sales and industrial production missing on expectations. Existing home sales rebounded last month, but a downward revision to the September reading put the total number of transactions below consensus. Meanwhile, initial jobless claims continued to trek higher last week, with 227,000 Americans filing for unemployment benefits in the latest reporting period.
Reports on new home sales, durable goods orders and personal incomes and outlays will make headlines early next week. Combined, they’ll provide investors with the most recent snapshot of the U.S. economy. The United States is said to be teetering on the brink of contraction this quarter, according to the latest forecast from the Atlanta Fed.