Gold prices dipped in Asia on Monday as risk trade eased for now and investors awaited more insight on U.S. tax cut plans and related Fed policy.
Gold futures for December delivery fell 0.33% to $1,292.1841 on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Copper on the Comex eased 0.36% to $3.057 a pound. The industrial metal has pulled back around 6% from the three-year highs hit in late October, amid concerns about demand from China, the world’s largest consumer. Copper is still up more than 20% for the year.
At the weekend, China reported home prices in major Chinese cities remained mostly stable as gains and dips slowed pace in October amid strict government controls.
Prices of new residential housing in 13 out of the 15 major cities surveyed, considered the hottest markets, grew less YoY in October, the newspaper said citing data from National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). Meanwhile, new residential housing prices fell in nine out of these 15 cities in October from September, according to the report.
An NBS expert cited in the report said that overall housing prices were stable in major cities as the government imposed curbs take effect.
Prices of new residential housing fell 0.1% in October from September in China’s first-tier cities while prices for second-hand homes were flat, according to the report. On a yearly basis, growth in prices for new and second-hand homes in first-tier cities slowed in October for the 13th consecutive month, the report added.
But home prices in 50 out of the 70 large and medium-sized cities surveyed by the rose on a monthly basis, compared with 44 in September, the newspaper said.
Ahead, investors will be focused on Wednesday’s Federal Reserve meeting minutes for fresh clues on the likely trajectory of monetary policy.
U.S. data on durable goods orders will also be closely watched in this holiday-shortened week. Markets stateside will remain closed on Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday.
Last week, gold prices rose on Friday boosted by a weaker dollar which was hit by doubts over whether Republicans can pass a historic tax overhaul.
For the week, gold prices ended up 1.75%, its strongest weekly performance since early October.
The House of Representatives on Thursday passed a bill that would lower corporate taxes and cut individual taxes for most households in 2018, in a step towards the biggest U.S. tax code overhaul since the 1980s.
But the legislation may face a tougher fight in the Senate amid resistance within Republican ranks. Senate lawmakers are expected to vote on their version of the bill after this week’s Thanksgiving holiday.
The dollar was also pressured lower by news reports that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators probing possible Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election had subpoenaed President Donald Trump’s campaign requesting documents.
The reports added to concerns that the probe will hinder the Trump administration’s ability to pass tax reform or other fiscal reform measures that would support the economy.
A weaker dollar tends to support gold, which is priced in the U.S. currency and becomes less affordable to foreign buyers when the dollar appreciates.