Investing.com – Gold prices fell on Thursday in Asia amid renewed trade optimism. Brexit development was also in focus as the EU and the U.K. agreed to an extension of the Brexit deadline until October.
Gold futures traded on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange were down 0.3% to $1,309.85 an ounce by 12:20 AM ET (04:20 GMT).
Traders are closely monitoring developments on the Sino-U.S. trade front and Brexit.
The U.S. and China have agreed on a mechanism to police any trade agreement they reach, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC on Wednesday.
“We’ve pretty much agreed on an enforcement mechanism, we’ve agreed that both sides will establish enforcement offices that will deal with the ongoing matters,” he said.
Meanwhile, EU leaders and the U.K. agreed to a “flexible extension ” of the Brexit deadline until Oct. 31, which Prime Minister Theresa May has accepted.
Speaking after the agreement was reached, May repeatedly ducked questions about her future as prime minister. She acknowledge “the huge frustration” that the U.K. had not yet left the EU and simply told reporters that the U.K. “can still leave on May 22 and not hold those European parliamentary elections” if parliament passes her Brexit deal.
She also signalled she would accept a much longer delay from EU leaders of up to 12 months only if there was a “break clause” that allows the U.K. to leave as soon as parliament approves a deal with a meaningful vote.
She has previously said she would not accept an extension beyond 30 June.
“What matters, I think, is I have asked for an extension to 30 June but what is important is that any extension enables us to leave at the point at which we ratify a withdrawal agreement. So we could leave on 22 May and start to build our brighter future,” she said.
In other news, Federal Reserve officials have left room for the possibility of interest rate increases before the end of the year should economic conditions improve, minutes from their March meeting showed. But a majority of Fed members did say they expected rates to remain on hold in 2019.
Some policymakers under certain circumstances could “judge it appropriate to raise the target range for the federal funds rate modestly later this year,” the Fed said.
“Several participants noted that their views of the appropriate range for the federal funds rate could shift in either direction,” the minutes say.
Gold was supported in earlier Wednesday trade on expectations that euro zone economies would remain vulnerable from the European Central Bank’s decision to stick to its ultra-easy monetary policy.