Gold Slips While Palladium Maintains High Levels

Palladium held above $1,400 U.S. an ounce on Friday after surging to record levels in the previous session, amid tight supplies and robust demand, while gold slipped as risk sentiment got a boost from hopes of progress in U.S.-China trade talks.

Spot gold was down 0.1% at $1,290.51 U.S. per ounce, while U.S. gold futures were down 0.2% at $1,290 per ounce. One official said the market is currently unable to gauge the extent of economic slowdown, and that uncertainty is supporting gold.

Meanwhile, spot palladium climbed 1.1% to $1,411 U.S. per ounce Friday, having hit an all-time high of $1,434.50 U.S. on Thursday. The metal is on track to rise for a fourth week in its strongest weekly gain since the week ended Sept. 21. It has risen around 12% so far this month.

The price of palladium, used mainly in emissions-reducing catalysts for vehicles, is up nearly 70% since a low marked in mid-August. Prices for the metal overtook gold for the first time in 16 years early in December.

However, spot gold was set for its fifth straight weekly gain, supported by expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve may not raise interest rates this year on worries about economy and uncertainties around Brexit.

Gold watchers say spot gold is due for a sharp move, as its consolidation within a neutral range of $1,285-$1,299 U.S. per ounce is ending.

In other metals, platinum rose 0.5% to $809 U.S. an ounce, while silver gained 0.1% to $15.53 U.S.