Gold prices in India remained steady today after hitting a new high on Thursday. On MCX, gold futures for August delivery were up 0.12% at 34,742 per 10 gram after hitting a new high of 35,145 in the previous session. The October futures on MCX were steady above 35,000. In global markets, gold prices remained on an upward trend, consolidating above $1,400 per ounce as renewed China-US trade tensions and prospects of an interest rate cut by the US Federal Reserve spurred safe-haven demand.

Spot gold was up 0.3% at $1,407.69 per ounce. Gold got a boost this week after Fed Chair Jerome Powell in his testimony in Congress indicated on Thursday that a rate cut is likely at the the central bank's next meeting as businesses slow investment due to trade disputes and a global growth slowdown.

US-China trade jitters also resurfaced after US President Donald Trump said China was not living up to promises it made on buying agricultural products from American farmers. Gold is considered a safe investment during political and financial uncertainty. Adding to global uncertainties, Iran's alleged attempt to block a British-owned tanker heightened tensions in the Middle East in the wake of attacks on tankers and the downing of US drone by Iran in June.

A softer dollar is helping gold's case, making the metal cheaper for investors holding other currencies.

"The Fed chair's cautious stance on the US economy raised hopes of an imminent interest rate cut that spurred investor sentiments towards safe assets like gold," said Hareesh V, head (commodity research), Geojit Financial Services.

On Thursday, gold prices zoomed 930 to 35,800 per 10 gram in Delhi market, tracking a firm global trend. Prices in India also got a boost after the government increased import duty on gold. Higher tariffs could hurt consumer demand in India, the world's second-biggest gold consumer, at a time when global prices are on an uptrend, say analysts. (With Agency Inputs)

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