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Gold prices up on safe-haven bid amid rising China tensions

Why Are People Protesting in Hong Kong? - The New York Times

Gold and silver prices are trading higher in early U.S. dealings Friday, on safe-haven buying after fresh developments in China have sapped investor and trader risk appetite heading into a long U.S. holiday weekend. June gold futures were last up $15.50 an ounce at $1,737.70. July Comex silver prices were last up $0.276 at $17.645 an ounce.

Global stock markets were also mostly lower in overnight trading. U.S. stock indexes are pointed toward lower openings when the New York day session begins. U.S.-China tensions remain high. A new geopolitical element thrown into the mix is China’s threat to impose new national security laws in Hong Kong to thwart protesters there. Hong Kong’s main stock index, the Hang Seng, saw its worst day in nearly five years Friday—down over 5%.

China began its most important political event of the year late this week, the National People’s Congress. At the meetings Friday, Chinese officials said they won’t issue guidance on 2020 economic growth, acknowledging the severe economic damage inflicted on the world’s second-largest economy. Chinese authorities also implied that any more monetary policy stimulus may not be in the works, suggesting more pain for Chinese consumers. This news spooked the global marketplace and helped to sink stock markets and the crude oil markets overnight.

In other news, the Covid-19 pandemic is seeing an alarming rise of cases in some countries, while North America and Europe appear to be “flattening the curve” of the rate of infections.

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