Metals Stocks: Gold prices tread water as investors await details on China-U.S. trade pact

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Gold futures on Thursday traded little changed as benchmark bond yields pushed higher amid an easing of U.S.-China trade tensions and reduced worries over the global economic outlook.

Markets so far have brushed off the impeachment late Wednesday of President Donald Trump, only the third president to suffer the fate.

Gold bulls say that bullion’s price has been kept afloat due to some lingering anxieties around a trade deal between Beijing and Washington which has been announced but hasn’t been signed by the parties yet.

“However, there’s still some caution in the markets, as indicated by gold prices holding steady since the news of the deal. There’s a sense of nervousness and impatience among investors as until the agreement has been signed and sealed, the risk that the deal could still fall through will persist,” wrote Raffi Boyadjian, senior investment analyst at brokerage XM.

Gold for February delivery GCG20, +0.11%  on Comex edged 20 cents, or less than 0.1%, lower at $1,478.50 an ounce, after slipping 0.1% a day ago, while March silver SIH20, +0.01%  shed 2 cents, or 0.1%, to $17.020 an ounce, matching a similar decline on Wednesday.

For the week, silver is on track to end the week flat to slightly higher while gold is on pace to retreat by 0.2%.

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce said Thursday that it remains in contact with the U.S. as a text of a phase-one Sino-American deal is drafted.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Party controlled House impeached Trump late Wednesday on charges of abuse of power and obstruction, but the Senate is widely expected to acquit the president.

Gains in government bonds, with the 10-year Treasury note TMUBMUSD10Y, +0.37% rising to 1.95% early Thursday from 1.89% at the start of the week. Rising yields can undercut appetite for precious metals which don’t bear a coupon.

Read: Gold prices look to post biggest annual rise in 9 years

As gold futures have traded this week, U.S. stocks have mostly extended gains toward all-time highs, also eroding the appeal for haven assets compared against stocks.

In other metals trading, January platinum PLF20, +0.35%  fell 0.5% to $931.40 an ounce, after declining 0.6% on Wednesday, while March palladium PAH20, +0.52%  headed less than 0.1% lower at $1,895 an ounce, following its 1.2% decline a day ago.

March copper HGH20, -0.05%  was up less than 0.1% at $2.813 a pound.

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