Investing.com – Gold bulls seem to have set their sights on $1,350 per ounce, with the Trump administration’s multiple trade wars helping.
The last time gold hit $1,350 levels was in February, before the U.S. dollar became the preferred hedge for the U.S.-China trade battle given its superiority to the yuan. Range-bound trading conditions had also weakened the yellow metal’s prospects. But last week’s surprise tariffs decision announced by President Donald Trump on Mexico has been a game-changer for gold, with the economic fallout from that threatening the U.S. economy and, by extension, the dollar.
Spot gold, reflective of trades in bullion, traded at $1,324.80 per ounce by 2:40 PM ET (18:40 GMT), up $19.29, or 1.5%. It hit 1,325.57 earlier, its highest since the week ended Feb. 24.
Gold futures for August delivery, traded on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, settled up $16.80, or 1.3%, at $1,327.90 per ounce.
Mexico is a country that sells car components, televisions, clothing, alcohol, agricultural products and fuel to the U.S. in daily trade amounting to $1.7 billion.
The Trump administration announced Thursday it will impose a 5% tariff on all imported goods from Mexico beginning June 10 and “gradually increase” that tax to 25% until the flow of undocumented immigrants across the border stops. A Mexican government delegation has arrived for talks with U.S. officials in Washington on the tariffs, although Trump maintains that he prefers to see “action, not words”.
“Undoubtedly, trade concerns will continue to dominate the agenda,” said Fawad Razaqzada, analyst at FOREX.com.
The fear factor over trade was, in turn, driving gold higher as a safe haven, said George Gero, precious metals analyst at RBC Wealth Management in New York.
“Now with gold over $1,300, we may see asset allocators return. Already investors are asking is it time to get back to gold?” Gero added.
The dollar index, which measures the U.S. currency agadainst a basket of six currencies, slipped 0.5% to 97.14.
Elsewhere in metals, palladium slid for a second day after a previous four-day rally, although the silvery-white auto-component metal retained its standing as the world’s costliest traded metal.
Spot palladium fell $1.90, or 0.1%, to $1,326.50 an ounce. It fell nearly 3.5% in May, its third-straight month in the red, though it remains up 5% on the year.
Trades in other Comex metals as of 2:30 PM ET (18:30 GMT):
Palladium futures down $11.85, or 0.9%, at $1,319.65 per ounce.
Platinum futures up $28.75, or 3.6%, at $822.95 per ounce.
Silver futures up 23 cents, or 1.6%, at $14.80 per ounce.
Copper futures up 2 cents, or 0.7%, at $2.66 per pound.