Gold prices rose on Wednesday as U.S. President Donald Trump admitted to being the current obstacle to a trade deal with China and investors looked ahead to inflation data.
Gold futures for August delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gained $7.55, or 0.6%, to $1,338.75 a troy ounce by 6:39 AM ET (10:39 GMT).
“It’s me right now that’s holding up the deal,” Trump told reporters at the White House, saying he needed Beijing to agree to four or five “major points”, without specifying what they were.
Trump’s remarks dampened risk appetite, pushing global equities lower and benefiting the safe-haven precious metal.
Expectations that the two leaders will be able to reach a deal at the G20 summit on June 28-29 have been waning. With less than three weeks to go, sources told Reuters that little preparation for the one-on-one encounter has been made.
While short-term factors have helped the recent rally, gold continues to be supported by heavy central bank buying. The People's Bank of China added another 510 million ounces, or 15.7 tons, to its reserves in May, according to data released earlier this week. It's added 74 tons since November as the threat of a full-blown trade war has risen.
On the U.S. data front, investors will focus on the publication of the consumer price index for May as they wait for further signs to support the current narrative that subdued price pressures will force the Federal Reserve to cut rates as soon as July.
“The headline number may dip and even undershoot core CPI, as gasoline prices declined in May,” Petr Krpata, FX strategist at ING, said. “If core CPI surprises on the downside again, this will likely support current market expectations for Fed easing.”
Although no changes are expected to interest rates at next week’s meeting, fed fund futures price in the probability of a quarter-point cut in July at 81%.
In other metals trading, silver futures rose 0.4% at $14.783 a troy ounce by 6:40 AM ET (10:40 GMT).
Palladium futures slipped 0.1% at $1,388.50 an ounce, while sister metal platinum traded up 0.2% at $816.10.
In base metals, copper slumped 1.2% to $2.639 a pound.