Investing.com - Gold prices inched up on Friday in Asia as traders await the upcoming Sino-U.S. trade talks scheduled for next week.
U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross told CNBC in an interview that he is concerned that the two nations remain “miles and miles” apart on trade, although he acknowledged there is a “fair chance” of a trade deal.
“Trade is very complicated. There are lots and lots of issues,” he said.
On the other hand, White House Economic Adviser Lawrence Kudlow said President Donald Trump is optimistic about trade talks, adding that he expected the January jobs report would be up a significant amount.
Comex gold futures last traded at $1,280.85 by 1:23 AM ET (6:23 GMT), up 0.1%. Gold prices slumped to their lowest level of the year on Thursday, as future prices hit their weakest level since Dec. 27 at $1,275.65 a troy ounce.
Meanwhile, the U.S. dollar index that tracks the greenback against a basket of other currencies was down 0.2% to 96.080.
A softer dollar makes gold less expensive for holders of other currencies.
In other news, traders continued to monitor the economic impact of the longest U.S. government shutdown in history. The shutdown is now in its 34th day, as two bills to end the partial shutdown failed to win enough votes in the Senate.