BENGALURU- Gold prices held range-bound on Friday as the dollar trod water after U.S. President Donald Trump sent mixed signals about the prospects for a trade deal with Beijing, while palladium notched a record high.
Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping are expected to discuss trade on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Argentina on Saturday, where global trade tensions are expected to dominate the agenda.
However, Trump sent mixed signals on Thursday about the trade deal, saying an agreement was close but he was not sure he wanted one, just as he left for Argentina for a meeting with President Xi.
"The gold market shall be closely looking ahead to further cues from the G20 summit this weekend," said Sugandha Sachdeva, vice president of metals, energy and currency research at Religare Broking Ltd.
"Any positive development will be negative for the dollar index, which has benefited as a safe haven this year whenever tensions were seen escalating. On the contrary, if the trade spat intensifies, the stage will be set for further decline in gold prices."
Spot gold was little changed at $1,223.99 per ounce at 0826 GMT. U.S. gold futures inched lower to $1,228.7 an ounce.
The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was little changed on Friday.
"Gold seems to be moving sideward at this point of time... A lot depends on how the dollar will move," said Brian Lan, managing director at Singapore dealer GoldSilver Central.
Gold prices have lost about 10 percent from their April peak as investors turned to the dollar as a safe haven with the trade war unfolding against a backdrop of higher U.S. interest rates.
Minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve's November meeting indicated that another interest rate hike is warranted. However, Fed officials also kept the debate open on when the U.S. central bank might pause its monetary tightening and how it would relay those plans to the public.
Higher interest rates raise the opportunity costs of holding gold, which earns nothing and costs money to store and insure.
"Gold has held its 100-day moving average at around $1,211 and $1,215 to the 50-day moving average, so we definitely are moving into supports at the $1,215-$1,230 area," a Hong Kong-based trader said.
Palladium rose 0.5 percent to $1,186.80 per ounce, having struck a record high of $1,190 earlier in the session. The metal was poised for its biggest monthly gain since January 2017.
Spot silver fell 0.1 percent to $14.30 per ounce. Prices have gained about 0.5 percent so far this month.
Platinum dipped 1.3 percent to $806.74 per ounce. The metal was on track for a fourth consecutive weekly decline, after dropping around 3 percent so far this week.