Gold gains as risk sentiment wanes ahead of U.S.-China talks

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Earlier this week, gold prices retreated with the USA dollar appreciating and investors' cautious anticipation ahead of the resumption of trade talks between the United States and Chinese officials.

Gold is up nearly 18 percent this year and last month hit $1,550 an ounce for the first time since April 2013.

United States gold futures slipped 0.5pc to $1,505.30 per ounce.

Hopes that China and the USA would resolve their longstanding trade dispute were quickly dashed after Beijing's top negotiator narrowed the scope for upcoming trade talks.

On the European front, the prospects of an orderly Brexit seemed dim as a British source said that German Chancellor Angela Merkel told Prime Minister Boris Johnson by phone that a deal was "overwhelmingly unlikely". The European Union then accused Britain of playing "a stupid blame game".

"U.S. data has just started to weaken and it will continue to weaken, as we move into 2020 and ultimately that will raise some questions for equity markets and increase volatility there, and we could see further allocations into gold", TD Securities' McKay said.

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"Gold ETFs (exchange-traded fund) are close to the highest in years, so there definitely is demand for gold because of trade tensions and the slowdown in general in global growth rates", said SP Angel analyst Sergey Raevskiy.

Investors awaited the U.S. Federal Open Market Committee's minutes from its September meeting, due on Wednesday, for clues to whether the Fed will cut rates at its October meeting, in what would be its third interest rate cut for the year. -China trade negotiations are set to begin on Thursday in Washington, although news reports suggest Beijing may be looking to restrict the scope of any deal.

Lower interest rates tend to increase investor interest in non-yielding bullion.

Despite the bearish correction of gold prices, there are still factors supporting the return of gains at any time.

Holdings of the world's largest gold-backed ETF, SPDR Gold Shares, held close to their highest in almost three years at about 923.76 tonnes.

Elsewhere in haven assets, silver futures rose 1.4% to $17.78 an ounce, their highest in almost two weeks, while platinum futures rose 0.5% to $892.30 an ounce.

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