Gold gained on Thursday, supported by an easing dollar as investors awaited progress on the ongoing Sino-U.S. trade negotiations after reports showed that both sides were nearing a deal.
Spot gold rose 0.2 percent to $1,291.89 per ounce as of 0332 GMT. U.S. gold futures firmed 0.1 percent at $1,296.90 an ounce.
“One of the key issues would be the China-U.S. trade negotiations. There is a lot of optimism around the idea that we will see a peaceful resolution and some agreement really soon,” said Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist, CMC Markets.
“However, if the trade talks drag out we could see further support for gold because of its implications for growth.”
Gold is often seen as a safe investment during times of financial and political uncertainties.
A pause in the equities rally also helped the bullion. Asian shares held near an eight-month peak as investors awaited developments on trade talks.
Negotiations between the United States and China made “good headway” last week in Beijing and the two sides aim to bridge differences during talks this week, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said.
The dollar was trading near one-week low posted in the previous session after data showed U.S. services sector activity hit a more than 19-month low in March and private payrolls grew less than expected.
Market participants are now awaiting the U.S. nonfarm payrolls data, due on Friday, as it would offer insights on the strength of the U.S. economy.
A weak payrolls data could further weigh on the U.S. unit, making dollar denominated metals cheaper for investors holding other currencies.
Holdings in the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, SPDR Gold Trust, also fell for a third consecutive session on Wednesday. Holdings were at their lowest level since Dec. 17 at 24.57 million ounces.
Among other precious metals, spot platinum rose the most in more-than-two-years in the previous session to touch its highest level since end-June 2018 at $879.03 an ounce.
The auto-catalyst metal was down 0.2 percent at $872.93 an ounce on Thursday, while its sister metal palladium was up 0.3 percent at $1,409.15.
Silver dipped 0.3 percent to $15.09 per ounce.