Off The Wire
Gold Prices Steady, Buoyed By Worries Over Sino-U.S. Trade Tensions
May 23 (Reuters) - Gold prices steadied on Thursday just above a two-week low touched this week, buoyed by worries the Sino-U.S. trade conflict could expand into a technology cold war between the world’s two largest economies.
* Spot gold was broadly unchanged at $1,273.84 per ounce as of 0112 GMT, just above a more than two-week low of $1,268.97 touched on Tuesday.
* U.S. gold futures eased 0.1% to $1,273.30 an ounce.
* The U.S. administration is considering Huawei-like sanctions on Chinese video surveillance firm Hikvision over the country’s treatment of its Uighur Muslim minority, a person briefed on the matter said on Wednesday, the latest effort by the Trump administration to crack down on Chinese companies as trade friction between the world’s top two economies escalates.
* Bullion is often seen as a safe-haven investment in times of political or economic uncertainty.
* Asian shares were stuck in the red on Thursday amid the concerns over U.S.-China trade.
* Japanese manufacturing activity swung back into contraction in May as export orders fell at the fastest pace in four months, highlighting why policymakers and investors remain anxious about the growing economic impact of the bruising Sino-U.S. trade war.
* The United States is at least a month from enacting its proposed tariffs on $300 billion in Chinese imports as it studies the impact on American consumers, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Wednesday.
* The yen advanced against its peers as the persistent U.S.-China trade fears and Brexit concerns fanned risk aversion, lifting the safe-haven Japanese currency.
* Prominent Brexit supporter Andrea Leadsom resigned from Prime Minister Theresa May’s government on Wednesday, piling pressure on the British leader after a new Brexit gambit backfired and fuelled calls for her to quit.
* U.S. Federal Reserve officials at their last meeting agreed that their current patient approach to setting monetary policy could remain in place “for some time”, a further sign policymakers see little need to change rates in either direction.
* That came as many investors had priced in a rate cut by the end of this year, analysts said.
* SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.12% to 738.81 tonnes on Wednesday from 739.69 tonnes on Tuesday.
DATA AHEAD (GMT)
* 0600 Germany GDP Detailed QQ SA Q1
* 0600 Germany GDP Detailed YY NSA Q1
* 0645 France Business Climate Mfg May
* 0715 France Markit Mfg Flash PMI May
* 0730 Germany Markit Mfg Flash PMI May
* 0800 Germany Ifo Business Climate New May
* 0800 EU Markit Mfg Flash PMI May
* 0800 EU Markit Serv Flash PMI May
* 0800 EU Markit Comp Flash PMI May
* 1230 U.S. Initial Jobless Claims Weekly
* 1400 U.S. New Home Sales Units April (Reporting by Arijit Bose in Bengaluru; Editing by Joseph Radford)