James Hyerczyk
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Gold is trading higher on Friday in reaction to lower Treasury yields and a plunge below long-term support by the U.S. Dollar. The catalysts behind gold’s strength are lingering U.S.-China trade tensions as traders cautiously await Washington’s response to the Chinese parliament’s approval of a national security law for Hong Kong.

At 12:26 GMT, August Comex Gold is trading $1745.60, up $17.30 or 1.00%.

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The price action suggests that traders are betting against the U.S. Dollar ahead President Trump’s response to China’s tightening control over Hong Kong, which could worsen tensions between the two over the financial hub.

Traders fear that new U.S. sanctions against China might escalate into something more serious. If Trump announces more tariffs, for example, then look for retaliation by China. Both moves will put pressure on the U.S. and Chinese economies at a time when they are just starting to show signs of recovering from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Moh Siong Sim, a currency strategist at Bank of Singapore, doesn’t expect Trump to come down too hard on China because of the state of economy. He said, “You can never quite predict Trump. But I think this year it’s really difficult for him to do tough action.”

Trump to Hold Press Conference

U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to hold a news conference on China later on Friday as his administration moves to pressure Beijing over its treatment of Hong Kong.

“People will be looking for guidance to see whether that could trigger further escalation between the two largest economies. After Trump’s speech, people will also be keen to see China’s response,” said Bank of China International analyst Xiao Fu.

“Even with many economies reopening, the economic status is still quite weak. So with this new geopolitical tension it means that recovery in many parts of the world can take longer, which could lift gold prices.”


Daily Forecast

The direction of the gold market the rest of the session on Friday will be determined by Trump’s announcement. A soft response by Trump to China could help the U.S. Dollar recover, pressuring gold prices.

But a tough response that garners a swift retaliation from China will likely drive the U.S. Dollar lower against the major currencies, which will be supportive for gold.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

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