Off The Wire
Gold eases as China invites U.S. officials for talks
* Further declines potentially on the cards for gold- analyst
* Platinum dips for first time in seven sessions
* Palladium falls after three straight sessions of gains (Updates prices) By Karthika Suresh Namboothiri Nov 21 (Reuters) - Gold prices on Thursday eased from the last session's two-week high after a report that China has invited top U.S. negotiators for a new round of face-to-face talks, and is seeking to reach an initial trade agreement with the United States. Spot gold dipped 0.1% to $1,470.45 per ounce as of 1227 GMT. Prices had notched a two-week high of $1,478.80 in the previous session, before turning negative, after the United States passed a bill supporting Hong Kong anti-government protesters. U.S. gold futures dipped 0.3% to $1,470.40 per ounce. "Even though there is more tension between the U.S. and China, the gold market takes a wait-and-see stance. It looks like the market is in general a bit tired of news on the trade front," said ABN Amro analyst Georgette Boele. "There have been some buyers on dips and the holders of gold still hope prices will go higher. But if this does not materialise in the near-term, they will likely take profit on longs, pushing prices lower." China will strive to reach an initial trade agreement with the United States as both sides keep communication channels open, the Chinese commerce ministry said on Thursday. Beijing has also invited top U.S. trade negotiators for a new round of face-to-face talks, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday citing unnamed sources. The market, yet to swallow the report, was still wary about the fate of a trade deal after the United States passed two bills intended to support protesters in Hong Kong and send a warning to China about human rights. Hong Kong has seen increasingly violent protests against Chinese rule for several months. The passage of a U.S. law supporting the protesters is bound to anger Beijing and potentially undermine efforts to secure a trade deal. Gold, which is used as a safe investment during times of economic and political crisis, has gained more than 14% so far this year, on track for its biggest yearly gain since 2010. "Gold bulls are not giving up yet but the fight may be in vain, with $1,480 continuing to resist any marches on it," Craig Erlam, OANDA senior market analyst, said in a note. "The consolidation we've seen over the last 10 days has provided some reprieve for the yellow metal but it hasn't yet changed the outlook, with further declines potentially on the cards." Other precious metal prices were lower, with silver down 0.3% at $17.08, and palladium slipping 0.2% to $1,762.87 an ounce, declining after three straight days of gains. Platinum dipped 0.5% to $912.48 per ounce, ending a six-day winning streak. (Reporting by Karthika Suresh Namboothiri in Bengaluru Editing by Alexandra Hudson and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty) 0997 (If within U.S. call 651-848-5832); Reuters Messaging: email@example.com))
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