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Gold bulls cautious despite growing global uncertainties

After a stupendous upmove for the last few months, gold is becoming increasingly rangebound as traders look cautiously at global developments.

Gold spot in dollar terms slumped towards $14,80 an ounce level in reaction to the US Fed's monetary policy decision earlier this month but bounced back to $1,535 as global growth and trade worries intensified. Failure to sustain above $1,530, however, led to a correction back till $1,500.

While price moves have failed to impress, there are reasons for upward momentum to continue. Global growth continues to slow down, trade tensions are far from over, central banks are taking monetary and fiscal measures to boost growth, geopolitical tensions are high, while ETF money continues to flow in.

We are seeing measured reaction as market players question sustainability of these factors. In the near-term, focus is on possibility of a US-China trade deal. Gold price fell on September 25 as US President Donald Trump said there was a good chance a deal may be reached. It came after Trump blamed China for unfair trade practices at the UN General Assembly.

Officials of the two countries are expected to meet in early October. While expectations of an early deal are low, any progress may be enough to revive risk sentiment and tamper gold’s safe haven demand.

Geopolitical tensions are high since the attack on Saudi oil facilities on September 14. The US, Saudi Arabia and European leaders have blamed Iran for the drone strikes, fuelling concerns of a retaliatory action. However, the US and Iran have not ruled out a diplomatic solution and this has pushed market players on sidelines.

Gold rose briefly as political tensions rose in the US after the US House of Representatives launched a formal impeachment inquiry against Trump, accusing him of seeking foreign help to smear Democratic rival Joe Biden ahead of the next year's election. The gains, however, did not sustain.

In the UK, the Supreme Court ruled that Prime Minister Boris Johnson acted unlawfully when he suspended parliament for five weeks. The latest development added to uncertainty days ahead of the October 31 Brexit deadline. UK concerns pushed the US dollar higher against the British Pound, hence we failed to see gains in gold.

ETF investors continue to remain net buyers, however, inflows have become price sensitive. Gold holdings with SPDR gold trust rose by 16.4 tonnes on September 25 to 924.93 tonnes, highest since November 2016. This was the biggest one-day inflow since June and buying interest emerged as price dropped towards $1,500.

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