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Gold hits one-week high on simmering US-China trade spat


GOLD prices touched a more than one-week high on Monday as fears of a protracted US-China trade war hurt risk sentiment, while poor economic data from the United States bolstered bets of a US Federal Reserve rate cut.

Spot gold edged 0.1 per cent higher to US$1,286.21 per ounce as at 0714 GMT. Earlier in the session, the metal touched US$1,287.32, its highest since May 17.

US gold futures gained 0.2 per cent, to US$1,285.60 an ounce.

Market voices on:

"Gold has really reversed earlier losses as risk appetite in the market remains rather shaky," said Benjamin Lu, an analyst with Singapore-based Phillip Futures. "US sanctions on Huawei and even the rest of the Chinese technology firms have really aggravated trade tensions."

China on Friday denounced US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for fabricating rumours after he said the chief executive of China's Huawei Technologies was lying about his company's ties to the Beijing government.

A string of weak data from the US late last week stirred up concerns that its protracted trade war with China has started taking a toll on the country's economy, and promoted bets for a much expected rate cut by the Federal Reserve.

Over the weekend, US President Donald Trump repeated a complaint that the Federal Reserve's policies have kept US economic growth from reaching its full potential.

Further uncertainties emerged after British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Friday that she would quit after failing to deliver Brexit, setting up a contest that will install a new British prime minister who could pursue a cleaner break with the European Union.

"The rise of volatility triggered by geopolitics benefited the yellow metal and if the UK political game of thrones and US-China trade keep uncertainty levels high, gold could once again jump above US$1,300," Alfonso Esparza, senior market analyst at OANDA, said in a note.

Gold may retest a resistance at US$1,290 an ounce, a break above which could lead to a gain to the next resistance at US$1,295, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao. REUTERS