The question of whether a meeting between President Donald Trump and
President Xi Jinping is on at the upcoming G20 is holding gold investors
in thrall. The yellow metal’s price was barely moving Tuesday.
Trump said Tuesday he would raise tariffs on Chinese imports further if he cannot make progress in trade talks with Xi at the G20 summit later this month. A Xi representative declined to confirm if the Chinese leader would meet Trump at the June 28-29 meeting in Osaka, Japan. But Beijing vowed a tough response if the United States insists on escalating trade tensions amid ongoing negotiations.
Spot gold, reflective of trades in bullion, traded at $1,327.73 per ounce by 2:15 PM ET (18:15 GMT), down 21 cents, or 0.02%, on the day. It scaled a high last seen in April 2018 of $1,348.34 on Friday.
Gold futures for August delivery, traded on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, settled up $1.90, or 0.14%, at $1,331.20 per ounce. It reached a February peak of $1,352.55 in Friday's session.
The August gold contract gained nearly $70, or almost 5.5%, between May 28 and June 7, benefiting particularly from the escalation in U.S.-Mexican tensions as Trump threatened to slap tariffs on Mexico unless it acted strongly to stop the flow of illicit drugs and undocumented migrants from its side of the border. Trump backed down from the threat on Friday after claiming large concessions from Mexico, although published reports questions just how new the agreements between the U.S. and Mexico were.
Gold has also been boosted lately by expectations that the Federal Reserve might have to cut interest rates after May’s less-than-stellar U.S. jobs data and because of continued pressure from Trump, who wants a rate easing so that the economy can perform better under his watch and boost his reelection chances.
Trump took aim at the central bank again on Tuesday, saying that the Fed has raised rates too high and that its policy of shrinking its bond portfolio is “ridiculous.” Trump has taken offense with the Fed for raising rates during his term and for reducing its $3.8 trillion asset portfolio, which he says has harmed the economy and put the U.S. at a competitive disadvantage.
Gold pundits think gold futures could pierce $1,400 if the Fed issues a dovish policy statement after its June 18-19 meeting.