Gold Ends off Lows as U.S. Renews China Tariff Threat; Palladium Hits New Record

02/12/2019 20:10:30 Commodities – Gold ended off its lows on Monday as risk-averse investors sought a hedge after the U.S. reissued its tariffs ultimatum to China. Palladium, meanwhile, surged to record highs above $1,860 on more concerns of supply risk in the auto-catalyst metal.

Both bullion and gold futures pulled away from the day’s bottom after U.S. President Donald Trump acknowledge reports that the U.S.-China deal may have been “stalled” by his signing of legislation last week supporting Hong Kong pro-democracy activists against Beijing.

Gold futures for February delivery on New York’s COMEX settled down $3.50, or 0.2%, at $1,469.20 per ounce. The session bottom was $1,459.85.

Spot gold, which tracks live trades in bullion, was down $1.05, or 0.01%, at $1,462.85, versus an earlier low at $1,454.

Trump, commenting on his signing of the U.S. legislation on Hong Kong, admitted the action did not help trade negotiations with China. But he insisted he had no second thoughts over what was done and that the Chinese still “want to make a deal”.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross also reiterated the administration’s stance that without a trade deal, there would be no change to the Dec. 15 schedule for additional tariffs on China.

Aside from the ultimatum to China, Trump also announced plans Monday to resurrect tariffs on all steel and aluminum imports from Brazil and Argentina, stunning political and industry leaders in those countries and extending the White House’s adversarial trade tactics to new fronts.

The spot price of palladium was up $13.98, or 0.8%, at $1,855.18 after a record high at $1,863.

Palladium futures for March delivery on COMEX settled up $14.60, or 0.8%, at 1,824.70 after peaking at an all-time high of $1,835.20.

The metal has been breaking records daily since last Monday.

“Palladium positioning is slightly counterintuitive to the price action, implicitly confirming heavy OTC interest from the long side,” INTL FCStone analyst Rhona O’Connell said in a note, Reuters reported. “After weak longs were shaken out in early November another push to the upside is now approaching resistance from the uptrend.”