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New York, US (BBN) – Gold prices jumped in Asia on Thursday on solid trade figures from China, particularly on imports, and on geopolitical risk sentiment and President Donald Trump’s remarks on the dollar and interest rates.
Gold for June delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange gained 0.76 per cent to $1,287.85 a troy ounce.
Silver futures jumped 1.19 per cent to $18.517 a troy ounce and copper rose 1.10 per cent to $2.568 a pound.
China’s imports soared by 31.1 per cent in yuan terms, customs data showed on Thursday, with exports up 14.8 per cent for the first quarter from a year ago.
China reported a trade surplus of CNY454.94 billion in the period. Customs is expected to release dollar-denominated trade data later on Thursday.
In dollar terms, exports rose 16.4 per cent year-on-year in March with imports soaring 20.3 per cent, both beating expectations, for a trade balance surplus of $23.9 billion, more than double the expected figure.
Overnight, gold prices traded higher on Wednesday, but eased from a five-month high, despite increased demand for safe-haven gold amid heightened geopolitical jitters.
Risk-off sentiment has boosted to demand for traditional safe-haven assets including gold, as investors sought refuge from the recent market volatility amid increased geopolitical concerns.
US – Russia relations remained in the political spotlight, as US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was expected in Moscow on Wednesday to meet with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov and discuss a number of sensitive topics including the Korean peninsula, Syria and bilateral relations.
The meeting between Tillerson and Lavrov, came fresh off the heels of comments from Russia President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday, after he said trust had eroded between the United States and Russia.
Despite, an uptick in demand for the yellow metal, market participants expected gold prices to pull back from its current highs, on the back of a more hawkish Federal Reserve and a rise in the dollar.
Geopolitical tension on the Korean Peninsula also provided support. A call on Wednesday between Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump called for a peaceful resolution of concerns with North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.
Trump told the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, that he thinks the currency (dollar) is getting too strong and hinted that he may reappoint Janet Yellen to chair the Federal Reserve Board when her term ends in 2018, as he added “I do like a low-interest rate policy, I must be honest with you,”
It wasn’t the first time Trump expressed concern over the strength of the dollar, after he previously warned in January, that a soaring greenback has disadvantages for US companies that do a lot of business abroad.