Investing.com - Gold's brief pop from the abandoned U.S-North Korea nuclear summit is over and the yellow metal's back to chasing the hedge play over China's elusive trade deal -- although the dollar seems to be doing a better job of that.
Gold futures on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange settled down $5.10, or 0.4%, at $1,316.10 per ounce, easing for a fourth-straight day. For the month, the contract was down 0.7%.
Spot gold, reflective of trades in physical bullion, slid by $4.76, or 0.4%, to $1,315.03 per ounce by 2:10 PM ET (19:10 GMT).
Gold rose early in the day on news that U.S. President Donald Trump had walked out prematurely on two days of talks with North Korea's Kim Jong-Un. Trump said Kim asked for the end of U.S. sanctions on Pyongyang without offering adequate give on Washington's demands for denuclearization.
With investors moving on from the failed summit, focus returned to the U.S.-China talks, where the Trump administration was also having problems reaching a closure to its tariff war with Beijing, according to Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.
While investors have been using gold as a hedge toward the U.S.-China negotiations, the dollar has proven to be a more effective safe-haven play for this, gaining traction on Thursday at the expense of gold.
The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six currencies, remained in positive territory for a second-straight day, up 0.3 points at 96.065 by 2:10 PM ET (19:10 GMT), after spending three earlier sessions in the red.
"Gold is seeing a bid from investors but no great rally despite frustrations over the global economy and political headlines," said George Gero, precious metals analyst at RBC Wealth Management in New York.
Despite gold's bearish stretch of late, Gero said he did not expect it to slip below its solid perch of $1,300 an ounce, given the Federal Reserve's continued assurance that it was in no hurry to raise U.S. interest rates this year, after four hikes in 2018.
Palladium, meanwhile, rose from Wednesday's profit-taking, remaining the world's most valuable traded metal.
The spot price of palladium was up $9.90, or 0.7%, at 1,541.90 per ounce by 2:10 PM ET (19:10 GMT), after scaling $1,569.40 earlier. On Wednesday, spot palladium hit a record high of $1,569.40 as investors ploughed into the auto-catalyst metal due to shrinking global supplies.
Commodities brokerage SP Angel said Thursday the amount of palladium recycled in the market was rising and becoming an important piece of the market due to shortages of new supply.
“As primary palladium quickly disappears from global markets, the significance of junkyard metal is becoming more apparent as producers are forecasting a 1moz [1 million-ounce] deficit for 2019 and global known inventories could run out by the close of the year,” SP Angel said in a report.
Trades in other Comex metals as of 2:10 PM ET (19:10 GMT):
Palladium futures up $21.30, or 1.4%, at $1,498.50 per ounce.
Platinum futures up $4.20, or 0.5%, at $874.10 per ounce.
Silver futures down 13 cents, or 0.8%, at $15.54 per ounce.
Copper futures flat at $2.95 per pound.