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Gold Prices Slip in Choppy Trade as Trade Tensions Whipsaw Markets

© Reuters. – Gold edged lower in volatile trade on Thursday as trade tensions eased slightly, but remained within striking distance of Tuesday’s six-year peak on still-elevated levels of safe-haven demand.

dipped 0.1% to $1,514.16 per ounce by 08:12 AM ET (12:13 GMT), while U.S. were off 0.1% at $1,524.7.

Financial markets whipsawed on Thursday, turning lower after China pledged to take countermeasures against the next round of tariffs threatened by U.S. President Donald Trump. Markets subsequently rebounded after Beijing said it hopes the U.S. can meet it halfway on trade.

Gold prices had reached a high of $1,523.91 earlier in the day, back within $11 of Tuesday’s six-year high, hit on fears of a global downturn as investors fretted over the U.S.-China trade war, unrest in Hong Kong, economic stagnation in Germany and a slide in emerging-market assets.

The slide in government bond yields has been an alarming signal in terms of recession fears, said Norbert Ruecker, head of economics and next-generation research at Julius Baer.

“The overall uncertainty from the trade dispute is high and we also expect some central bank action for recession-fighting to come over the next weeks and months,” Ruecker said. “This should support the gold price at current levels.”

Bond yields continued to give off warning signs Thursday, although the two-year yield dipped back below the 10-year, ending a day of “inversion”. The yield curve inversion, which has historically signaled a looming recession, triggered an extensive flight to safety on Wednesday.

Gold has gained over 8%, or more than $100, since the beginning of the month amid heightened trade tensions, sustained buying by central banks and – latterly – hedge funds and ETFs in response to a slew of disappointing economic data globally.

“We think gold could rise to as much as $1,580-$1,600 over the remainder of the year – we think risks are skewed to the upside and would not rule out a temporary breach of the upper end of that range,” analysts at UBS said in a note.

Markets were looking ahead to U.S. retail sales data due later in the day, for fresh insights into the strength of the world’s largest economy.

–Reuters contributed to this report

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