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Gold holds above US$1,490 on weak Chinese data, Brexit prospects

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Gold prices held above US$1,490 on Friday as disappointing data from China reinforced concerns that its trade spat with the United States had begun taking a toll on global economies, while the Brexit deal waits for parliamentary backing.

[BENGALURU] GOLD prices held above US$1,490 on Friday as disappointing data from China reinforced concerns that its trade spat with the United States had begun taking a toll on global economies, while the Brexit deal waits for parliamentary backing.

Spot gold rose 0.1 per cent to US$1,492.45 per ounce as of 0522 GMT. Prices had gained about 0.2 per cent in the week.

US gold futures dropped 0.1 per cent to US$1,496.10 per ounce.

The European Union backed a new Brexit deal with Britain on Thursday, which prompted an uptick in Asian shares in early trade. However, gains were capped after disappointing Chinese economic growth data.

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While markets promptly cheered progress in talks, doubts erupt if Prime Minister Boris Johnson will be able to secure the UK parliament's backing for the agreement if he is to take Britain out of Europe on Oct. 31.

"The Brexit deal did not have as much a negative impact on gold as expected. This means that there are still concerns that it might not get passed in the parliament," said Brian Lan, managing director at dealer GoldSilver Central in Singapore.

"Gold will be range-bound until and unless we have some clarity on Brexit and other geo-political risks," Mr Lan said adding that he expects gold to trade around US$1,475 and US$1,503 per ounce in the short term.

Worries surrounding a trade war between the United States and China still lingered, with China's economic growth slowing more than expected to 6 per cent year-on-year in the third quarter, the weakest pace in almost three decades.

The world's two-largest economies have imposed tariffs on each other's goods in a dispute over China's trade and industrial policies that has slammed the brakes on global economic growth. Gold is often used at such times as a hedge against uncertainty.

The dollar index at a near eight-week low has also lent support to the metal.

ANZ Bank said in a note it expects gold to receive support from elevated macro and geopolitical risks, with under-supplied PGM (platinum group metal) prices likely to push higher.

"The palladium market is still structurally tight, keeping prices resilient with intermittent volatility."

Amongst other precious metals, palladium rose 0.1 per cent higher to US$1,760.67, a day after hitting a record high of US$1,783.21 an ounce. The autocatalyst metal was up 3.6 per cent for the week, and set for its best since the week of Sept. 13.

Platinum shed 0.2 per cent to US$885 per ounce while silver inched 0.1 per cent higher to US$17.54. 

REUTERS