Gold markets: U.S.-China relations in focus

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Gold prices extended losses on Monday, after their worst week in five months, on lingering risk appetite, while the Sino-U.S. trade relationship hinted at potential improvement.

Spot gold was down 0.5% at $1,934.91 per ounce by 0036 GMT. Gold fell 4.5% last week, its biggest weekly decline since March.

U.S. gold futures eased 0.3% to $1,943.50 per ounce.

A lift in U.S. bond yields gave the dollar some respite after weeks of losses. A stronger greenback makes gold cheaper for holders of other currencies.

Asian markets were flat near recent highs; while stock index futures indicated that U.S. equities will make moderate gains on Monday ahead of retail earnings.

Worldwide, there are over 21.58 million people infected by the coronavirus and 766,383? have died, according to a Reuters tally.

Japan’s economy shrank for the third straight quarter, marking the biggest contraction on record, as the pandemic continues to take its toll.

U.S. retail sales increased less than expected in July, and could slow even further in the coming months.

Speculators reduced their bullish positions in COMEX gold and silver contracts in the week to Aug. 11, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said on Friday.

In a possible sign of easing tensions after a protracted trade war, China increased U.S. oil purchases on Friday ahead of a trade deal review.

SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.30% to 1,248.29 tonnes on Friday.

Silver slipped 0.6% to $26.25 per ounce. Platinum rose 1% to $945.55, and palladium gained 1.6% to $2,143.09.

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