Gold Suffers Biggest Weekly Loss In 3 Years on U.S.-China Trade Drama


© Reuters.  © Reuters.

By Barani Krishnan – Global markets can’t decide where the U.S.-China negotiations are going, yet hopes for a trade deal remained alive on Friday, prompting gold to fall again for its biggest weekly loss in three years.

Gold futures for December delivery on New York’s COMEX settled down $3.50, or 0.2%, at $1,462.90 per ounce after plumbing three-month lows for a second-straight day at $1,457.10. For the week, it fell 3.2%, its most for a week since November 2016.

Spot gold, which tracks live trades in bullion, was down $5.31, or 0.4%, at $1,462.51 per ounce by 2:15 PM ET (19:15 GMT). Its session low was $1,456.33, a bottom since August 5.

“It’s been a tough week for gold bugs,” TD Securities said in a note. “With algorithmic selling still the order of the day, which further saps liquidity from the market, the overextended long positions are in for more pain ahead.”

The Canadian bank-backed brokerage estimated that the weighted average breakeven entry price for longs on COMEX stood at $1,434 per ounce, suggesting more pain ahead.

“The fact that gold’s preliminary open interest appears to have actually crept up, suggesting fresh shorts and sticky length, supports our view that more long liquidations could be ahead,” it said.

Still, not all might be lost for those still hopeful for a gold comeback, TD Securities said.

“An interesting point of note, our analysis of the weekly positioning deltas highlights that a significant amount of length has been accumulated in the $1,425/oz – $1,450/oz range, with an estimate of net 54,000 plus lots built in that region in the last year.”

On the U.S.-China trade front, President Donald Trump poured cold water on remarks from Chinese commerce minister Gao Feng a day ago that Beijing and Washington have agreed to phase out their tit-for-tat tariffs.

“They’d like to have a rollback, I haven’t agreed to anything,” Trump told reporters. “China would like to get somewhat of a rollback — not a complete rollback, because they know I won’t do it.”

For added measure, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said after Gao’s remarks on Thursday that “if there’s a phase one trade deal, there are going to be tariff agreements and concessions.”

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