By Barani Krishnan
Investing.com - For gold longs, it's just not enough that the dollar dips whenever there's progress reported on the U.S.-China trade talks. Equities have to see a decent slide, too.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's remarks on Monday that Washington and Beijing might be “close to the final round” of their trade negotiations not only weakened the dollar, which had been a hedge to the trade war, but also limited Wall Street's downside from weaker financial earnings.
The S&P 500 remained about flat, and that wasn't too good for gold.
Spot gold, reflective of trades in bullion, was down $2.63, or 0.2%, at $1,288.06 per ounce by 2:37 PM ET (18:38 GMT).
Gold futures for June delivery, traded on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, settled the official session down $3.90, or 0.3%, at $1,291.30 per ounce.
U.S. data last week showing import prices rose for a third-straight month in March, coupled with positive Chinese export and euro zone industrial production numbers, assuaged some concerns over global growth that limited demand for gold as a safe haven.
The U.S. dollar index dipped about 0.03%.
"Optimistic outlook for trade agreements and tariffs bring unknown to gold traders," said George Gero, precious metals analyst at RBC Wealth Management in New York.
A shorter trading week from the upcoming Good Friday holiday was likely to keep gold bobbing at around $1,275 an ounce, with the possibility of a $50 premium to the upside if sentiment changed, he said.
"For now, outflows from funds and ETFs continue, and metals in general are seeing money come off the table," Gero added.
Palladium slid for a third-straight day, while remaining as the world's priciest traded metal.
Spot palladium was down $11.20, or 0.8%, at $1,362.90 an ounce. The silvery-white auto-catalyst metal, used for purifying gasoline emissions, traded some $300 above gold early last month before cutting that premium to less than $100 lately.
Trades in other Comex metals as of 2:37 PM ET (18:37 GMT):
Palladium futures down $14.85, or 1.1%, at $1,335.35 per ounce.
Platinum futures down $7.20, or 0.8%, at $891.30 per ounce.
Silver futures down 2 cents, or 0.1%, at $14.94 per ounce.
Copper futures down 1 cent, or 0.4%, at $2.93 per pound.
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