Gold slips on recovery hopes, U.S.-China worries limit losses

Spot gold was down 0.2% at $1,737.16 per ounce

  
Image used for illustrative purpose. Gold bars are stacked in the safe deposit boxes room of the Pro Aurum gold house in Munich, Germany, August 14, 2019.

Image used for illustrative purpose. Gold bars are stacked in the safe deposit boxes room of the Pro Aurum gold house in Munich, Germany, August 14, 2019.

REUTERS/Michael Dalder

Gold eased on Tuesday, weighed down by gains in stock markets, but concerns over civil unrest in U.S. cities and growing tensions between Washington and Beijing limited the decline.

Spot gold was down 0.1% at $1,738.24 per ounce by 1152 GMT, having gained as much as 1% on Monday to hit its highest since May 21. U.S. gold futures were steady at $1,750.90.

"The U.S.-China tensions support (gold) because of the safe-haven demand but there are also concerns about a second wave of the coronavirus," Bank of China International analyst Xiao Fu said, adding investors were also worried about unrest in U.S. cities and whether it would come under control.

"Gold is now range bound ... The equity market rally has been capping further gains in gold," Fu added.

World stocks climbed towards three-month highs as the global coronavirus recovery effort won out over the trade tensions and the unrest in the United States. 

Concerns about deteriorating Sino-U.S. relations increased after reports of an order from China's government to halt U.S. soybean purchases. 

Bullion, which is widely viewed as a safe-haven investment during times of political and financial uncertainty, got further support after U.S. President Donald Trump vowed to use the military to halt the violent protests in U.S. cities. 

Meanwhile, in a sign that the worst of the economic downturn from the coronavirus pandemic might be over, U.S. manufacturing activity edged up from an 11-year low, and China's factory activity unexpectedly returned to growth in May. 

Reflecting investor sentiment, holdings in the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, SPDR Gold Trust GLD , rose 0.5% to 1,128.40 tonnes on Monday, the highest in seven years.

Elsewhere, palladium dropped 0.2% to $1,958.25 per ounce, while platinum climbed 0.5% to $851.46 and silver was unchanged at $18.27.

(Reporting by K. Sathya Narayanan in Bengaluru; Editing by Mark Potter) ((Sathya.Narayanan@thomsonreuters.com; within U.S. +1 646 223 8780, outside U.S. +91 80 6182 2732; Reuters Messaging: sathya.narayanan.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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