Metals Stocks: Gold gives up ground after upbeat China manufacturing data

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Gold lost ground Monday, losing its haven appeal after a round of upbeat data on Chinese manufacturing activity sparked appetite for stocks and other assets perceived as risky.

Gold for February delivery GCG20, -0.52%  on Comex fell $6.10, or 0.4%, to 1,466.60 an ounce, while March silver SIH20, -0.65%  was off 8.1 cents, or 0.5%, at $17.025 an ounce.

“A sudden rise in risk aversion among market participants on Friday allowed the gold price to gain by a good $10 to $1,465 per troy ounce in a matter of hours. Relatively good Chinese data are causing the gold price to correct again as the new week gets under way,” said Daniel Briesemann, analyst at Commerzbank, in a note.

The Caixin manufacturing purchasing managers index rose to 51.8 in November from 51.7 in October, Caixin Media Co. and research firm Markit said Monday — with the reading still above the 50 level that separates expansion from contraction. Earlier, China’s official manufacturing PMI reading moved back into expansion activity, rising to 50.2 in November from 49.3, according to the country’s National Bureau of Statistics, marking the first reading above 50 for the index since April.

U.S. stock-index futures pointed to a slightly higher start for Wall Street, while Treasurys sold off, pushing up yields. Higher yields can dent demand for gold, raising the opportunity cost of holding a nonyielding asset.

Briesemann, however, said uncertainty around U.S.-China trade talks could help keep a floor under gold prices. China is insisting that U.S. tariffs be rolled back as part of any “phase one” trade deal, China’s state-run Global Times said Sunday. And Axios reported Sunday that deal is unlikely to be agreed upon before late December, but that Trump is expected to put off tariff hikes scheduled to take effect Dec. 15 to keep negotiations alive.

In other metals trade, January platinum PLF20, +0.16%  rose 0.2% to $902.60 an ounce, while March palladium PAH20, +1.01% gained 0.9% to $1,827.20 an ounce.

March copper HGH20, -0.47%  fell 0.5% to $2.648 a pound.