Gold rises on global growth worries


Gold prices edged higher on Tuesday after a steep fall in the previous session, as investors fretted about an economic slowdown amid weak global manufacturing data and US-European trade ructions.

Spot gold was up 0.4% at $1,389.73 per ounce at 0414 GMT, after falling 1.8% in the previous session, its biggest one-day percentage decline since November 2016.

US gold futures were up 0.2% to $1,391.70 an ounce.

"The trade conflict is back to the centre stage today and the participants have shifted from US-China to US and the European Union," said Margaret Yang Yan, a market analyst at CMC Markets.

The United States on Monday ratcheted up pressure on Europe in a long-running dispute over aircraft subsidies, threatening tariffs on $4 billion of additional EU goods, on top of products worth $21 billion that were announced in April.

Meanwhile, factory activity shrank across much of Europe and Asia in June, while growth in manufacturing cooled in the United States, keeping the world's policymakers under pressure to avert a recession.

"Weak data gave investors a reminder of the recession risk ahead of us and that is part of the driver for safe haven," Yan said.

The rise in gold was capped by a strong dollar, which hovered near its highest in over a week, buoyed by an agreement between the United States and China to resume talks to resolve their trade war.

The market will now focus on US non-farm payrolls data due on Friday, which should help investors better assess whether the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates later this month.

"The non-farm payrolls data will be the signpost for a 25 or 50 basis points cut by the central bank... But even a 25 basis points cut is supportive in the medium-term for gold," said Stephen Innes, managing partner at Vanguard Markets.

Lower interest rates decrease the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion and weigh on the dollar, making gold cheaper for investors holding other currencies.

Spot gold may bounce to $1,401, as it has found a support in a narrow range of $1,386-$1,387 per ounce, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.

Indicating investor interest in gold, holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose 0.78 per cent to 800.20 tonnes on Monday.

Elsewhere, silver rose 0.3% to $15.18 per ounce, while palladium was flat at $1,546.80 per ounce.

Platinum rose 0.4% to $833.12, after touching a near seven-week high on Monday.