Metals Stocks: Gold claws back ground as Treasury yields retreat

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Gold futures were modestly higher Thursday, finding support as yields on government debt continue to fall, lowering the opportunity cost of holding the metal.

Gold for December delivery on Comex GCZ19, +0.42%  rose $7.20, or 0.5%, to $1,470.50 an ounce, a day after snapping a four-day losing streak and rebounding from a more-than-two-month low. December silver SIZ19, +0.31%  rose 6.7 cents, or 0.4%, to $16.98 an ounce.

Analysts said appetite for traditional haven assets amid renewed uncertainty over the outlook for a phase one trade agreement between the U.S. and China was helping to buoy gold.

“The metal has risen because of two main reasons. First, safe-haven government bonds have resumed higher, pushing yields lower. This has helped to underpin low and non-interest-bearing assets such as the Swiss franc, Japanese yen and gold,” said Fawad Razaqzada, technical analyst at Forex.com, in a note. “Secondly, equity markets in the U.S. seem to have stalled for the time being after repeatedly hitting new record highs.”

The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note fell 3.7 basis points to 1.833%. Yields fall as Treasury prices rise.

Stock-index futures pointed to a weaker start for Wall Street after the Dow Jones Industrial DJIA, +0.33%  and the S&P 500 SPX, +0.07%  eked out record finishes on Wednesday.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday reported that U.S.-China talks had hit a snag over farm purchases, with Beijing reluctant to commit to a hard number in the text of the agreement while President Donald Trump has claimed China agreed to buy $50 billion of products a year. News reports have also highlighted a dispute over tariffs, with Beijing said to be insisting that existing tariffs be rolled back as part of an agreement while the White House has resisted.

In other metals trade, January platinum PLF20, +0.33%  rose 0.3% to $877.60 an ounce, while December palladium PAZ19, +0.80%  was 0.7% higher at $1,686.40 an ounce.

December copper HGZ19, -0.08%  was 0.1% lower at $2.6375 a pound.

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