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Gold Gains Ground As Trade Optimism Fades

Gold prices inched higher on Wednesday amid safe-haven buying after a top U.S. official said tariffs on Chinese goods would stay in place even after the preliminary agreement is signed.

Spot gold rose half a percent to $1,553.22 per ounce, while U.S. gold futures were up 0.6 percent at $1,553.25.

The United States and China are expected to sign a 'Phase One' trade deal later today. The deal will lead to China buying more American agricultural goods, machinery especially aircraft and energy products, but does not tackle issues such as subsidies.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said there was no agreement in place with China on further tariff reductions.

If the Chinese don't achieve the purchase price targets, the U.S. could impose new tariffs.

Adding to worries over U.S.-China trade relations, media reports suggest that the Trump administration is moving closer to a set of rules that would tighten sales of semiconductors to Chinese technology giant Huawei.

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