Gold futures settled higher on Friday, as global growth worries prompted traders to shun riskier investments like equities and seek the safe haven asset. The dollar’s continued strength limited gold’s upside.
Downward revision in growth forecasts for the Euro area by the European Commission and the Bank of England and rising worries about U.S.-China trade tensions weighed on stocks for a second successive session.
The dollar index edged up by over 0.1% to 96.38, capping gold’s gains.
Gold futures for April ended up $4.30, or 0.3%, at $1,318.50 an ounce. On Thursday, gold futures for April ended down $0.20, at $1,314.20 an ounce, extending losses to a fifth session.
For the week, gold futures shed about 0.3%.
Silver futures for March ended up $0.096, at $15.809 an ounce, while Copper futures for March settled at $2.8105 per pound, down $0.0180 from previous close.
Worries about trade tensions have increased following a report from Wall Street Journal, the U.S. and China don’t even have a draft accord that specifies where they agree and disagree.
Earlier, reports said that U.S. President Donald Trump will not meet with the Chinese President Xi Jinping before a crucial March deadline. Trump is quoted as saying, “Not yet. Maybe. Probably too soon,” before finally said, “No” when asked if the two leaders would meet before the deadline.
Meanwhile, reports indicate that tariffs on Chinese goods will jump automatically on the deadline, although Trump is expected to delay the increase as talks continue.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and other U.S. officials are scheduled to travel to Beijing next week to continue the negotiations. However, markets are still skeptical about the outcome as no significant progress has been made so far on the issue.
On Thursday, the European Commission slashed its GDP growth forecast for Eurozone for 2019 to 1.3% from 1.9% and lowered its estimate for growth in 2020 to 1.6% from 1.7%.
The downgrade reflected external factors, such as trade tensions and the slowdown in emerging markets, notably in China. Officials warned that the European outlook faces substantial risks due to the uncertainty about Brexit and the slowdown in China.
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