NEW YORK (Reuters) – Gold prices surged to a 10-month high on Tuesday, as the U.S. dollar weakened, on optimism for a breakthrough in U.S.-China trade talks, with bullion also receiving support as a safe-haven asset due to concerns over global growth.
A gauge of global stock markets rose modestly, with an advance in Walmart helping to lift Wall Street equities, although gains were hemmed in by concerns in Europe a car tariff could hurt the region’s exports to the United States.
Worries over a possible global economic slowdown buoyed gold prices. The World Trade Organization warned of sluggish trade as a leading indicator of world merchandise trade hit its lowest reading in nine years.
A new round of talks between the United States and China to resolve an extended trade spat will take place in Washington on Tuesday, with follow-up sessions at a higher level later in the week, following a round of negotiations in Beijing last week.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 27.17 points, or 0.1 percent, to 25,856.08, the S&P 500 lost 0.1 points, or 0.00 percent, to 2,775.5 and the Nasdaq Composite added 8.93 points, or 0.12 percent, to 7,481.34.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index lost 0.23 percent and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.05 percent.
Emerging market stocks rose 0.07 percent. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan closed 0.03 percent higher, while Japan’s Nikkei rose 0.10 percent.
Gold prices surged to a near 10-month high, driven by concerns over slowing global growth. Adding to recent weak data from the United States, Japan and China, an ECB official signaled interest rates would remain at current levels until monetary policy goals are met.
Spot gold added 0.9 percent to $1,338.21 an ounce. U.S. gold futures gained 1.44 percent to $1,341.20 an ounce.
Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said on Tuesday the central bank was ready to ramp up stimulus if the stronger yen derails the path toward its 2 percent inflation target.
The Japanese yen strengthened 0.03 percent versus the greenback at 110.61 per dollar, while Sterling was last trading at $1.3028, up 0.83 percent on the day.
The dollar index, tracking the U.S. unit against six major currencies, fell 0.27 percent, with the euro up 0.18 percent to $1.1328.
“We are hoping to hear more positive news on trade,” said Dean Popplewell, chief currency strategist at Oanda in Toronto. “The dollar should come under pressure as it loses some safe-haven appeal.”
The Swedish crown pared losses against the dollar after hitting a more than four-year low after inflation data came in decidedly weak just two months after a milestone rate hike.
The crown lost 0.74 percent versus the U.S. dollar at 9.32.
U.S. crude rose 0.07 percent to $55.63 per barrel and Brent was last at $65.92, down 0.87 percent.
Benchmark 10-year notes last rose 8/32 in price to yield 2.6375 percent, from 2.666 percent late on Friday.
The 30-year bond last rose 12/32 in price to yield 2.9786 percent, from 2.997 percent late on Friday.
Copper rose 0.77 percent to $6,323.50 a ton.
(Graphic: Global assets in 2019 – tmsnrt.rs/2jvdmXl)
(Graphic: Global currencies vs. dollar – tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh)
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