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Gold and silver prices are higherin early-afternoon U.S. trading Monday, as the weekend agreement reachedbetween the U.S. and China to a temporary halt their heretofore escalating tradewar has prompted some hopes of better worldwide demand for precious metals.Gold prices pushed to a three-week high today. February gold futures were lastup $12.00 an ounce at $1,237.90. March Comex silver was up $0.288 at $14.505 anounce.
Risk appetite was back in full force to start thetrading week, following the weekend news out of the G20 meeting in Argentinathat the U.S. and China have agreed on a cease-fire in their trade war. Asian and European stock marketsrallied sharply, while crude oil prices were also posting good gains on hopesfor better world economic growth if the two largest economies stop their tradehostilities. U.S. stock indexes are solidly higher at midday, but welloff their daily highs.
The U.S. dollar index is lower today as secondaryworld currencies were boosted on the U.S.-China truce. That’s a bullish outsidemarket force for the metals markets. There are notions a U.S.-China tradeagreement would lessen demand for the safe-haven greenback and make thesecondary currencies look more attractive.
The U.S.-China trade cease-fire gave traders andinvestors a double-barrel shot of upbeat news, following last week’ssurprisingly dovish comments coming from Federal Reserve Chairman Jay Powell.
In other news, the OPEC oil cartel meeting isgetting under way in Vienna, Austria. Reports said Qatar plans to pull out ofthe cartel in January. Oil prices were also lifted today in part on commentsfrom Russian and Saudi Arabian officials that they want to extend productioncuts.