Gold prices edged slightly lower on Tuesday as traders largely refrained from building up positions in the yellow metal amid worries about the likely impact of the U.S.-China trade conflict on global economic growth.
The U.S.-Mexico trade deal did boost sentiment on Monday and for a while this morning as well. However, with last week’s trade talks between the U.S. and China failing to make any significant progress, fears about a global trade war still persist.
Gold prices edged higher earlier in the session, but pared gains after the dollar trimmed its losses as data from the Conference Board showed an improvement in U.S. consumer confidence.
Gold futures for December settled at $1,214.40 an ounce, down $1.60, or 0.1%, from previous close.
On Monday, gold futures ended up $2.70, or 0.2%, at $1,216.00 an ounce as the dollar weakened against most major currencies.
Silver futures for September ended down $0.0855, at $14.774 an ounce.
Copper futures for September ended up $0.0275, at $2.7360 per pound.
The yellow metal, which plunged to its lowest levels since January 2017, around mid August, has recovered some ground since then, but is still mostly struggling to force its way up north due largely to imminent interest rate hikes in the U.S.
According to a report from the Conference Board, U.S. consumer confidence unexpectedly improved in the month of August. The report said its consumer confidence index surged up to 133.4 in August from an upwardly revised 127.9 in July. Economists had expected the index to dip to 126.8 from the 127.4 originally reported for the previous month.
With the unexpected increase, the consumer confidence index reached its highest level since hitting 135.8 in October of 2000.
The strong consumer confidence report has raised expectations that the Fed would certainly hike interest rate in its September monetary policy meeting.