Metals Stocks: Gold slips as steps toward U.S.-China trade pact cut demand for haven assets

Gold prices slipped Wednesday, though the metal has spent time in positive and negative territory, tracking a dollar index that remains near multimonth highs.

Gold settled higher on Tuesday when the dollar paused its stretch of eight straight wins. News that U.S. congressional negotiators reached a tentative deal to prevent a government shutdown supported the stock market, limiting gains for haven gold. The deal still requires approval from President Donald Trump.

And developments on the trade-negotiations front also briefly dulled demand for haven gold. President Trump said Tuesday that he would allow for flexibility on a the timeline for a deal with China if an agreement looks close. A third day of bilateral trade negotiations were under way in Beijing, with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer expected Thursday for more high-level discussions.

Early Wednesday, April gold GCJ9, -0.03% fell $1.20, or less than 0.1%, at $1,312.80 an ounce. The SPDR Gold Shares ETF GLD, +0.21%  fell 0.1% in premarket trade.

The ICE U.S. Dollar Index DXY, +0.20% a measure of the U.S. currency against a basket of six major rivals, was up 0.1% at 96.84.

Gold has gained more than 2% since the end of last year based on the most-active contract as uneasy trade progress, grouped with a series of global growth downgrades and an expected pause in Federal Reserve rate-hike policy sent investors to seek cover in lower-risk pockets of the financial markets.

In other metals trade, March silver SIH9, -0.19%  fell 0.3% to $15.645 an ounce. March copper HGH9, +0.04%  was slightly firmer at $2.7745 a pound.

Wednesday’s Need to Know column features an upbeat outlook from Morgan Stanley for copper prices and related stocks, fueled in part by analyst expectations for industry deal-making.

April platinum PLJ9, +0.43%  gained. while March palladium PAH9, +0.17%  rose deeper into record-high territory, last up 0.2% at $1,378 an ounce.

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