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Market futures downbeat amid renewed tariff tensions

Markets ended the week lower and futures are negative amid reports US president Donald Trump threatened new trade tariffs on China, as frustration mounts over the COVID-19 pandemic, its origins and its ramifications.
Market futures downbeat amid renewed tariff tensions Market futures downbeat amid renewed tariff tensions Market futures downbeat amid renewed tariff tensions Market futures downbeat amid renewed tariff tensions Market futures downbeat amid renewed tariff tensions

Barrick Gold gained despite issues in PNG

Staff reporter

Johns Hopkins University puts the total confirmed COVID-19 cases at 3.5 million, with more than 1.1 million in the US.

Gold has dropped below US$1,700 an ounce on the spot market to $1,696/oz earlier.

Commodities closed lower across the board on the London Metal Exchange on Friday as China entered a five-day holiday.

Among the mining majors, Rio Tinto (LSE: RIO) closed 1.9% lower in London.

In New York, copper major Freeport-McMoRan (NYSE: FCX) lost 4.19%.

Headed in the opposite direction, Barrick Gold (TSX: ABX) gained 5.7% on Friday to close within a few dollars of a 7.5-year high reached in April, despite a question mark now hanging over its Porgera joint venture mine in Papua New Guinea.

The miner said last week it would challenge the government's decision not to extend Porgera's special mining lease, which it described as "tantamount to nationalisation", while PNG prime minister James Marape has said Barrick could continue maintaining the operation "until an agreed exit time".

Finally, at the smaller end of town, Monument Mining (TSXV: MMY) gained 11.11% as it announced it had been given approval for its Selinsing gold mine in Malaysia to resume full operations during the movement control order period which has been extended to May 12 as a preventative measure against the pandemic.