Gold eased to its lowest level in nearly one week overnight as the dollar rose and investors latched on to gains in global stocks, while palladium touched record highs on expectations of higher demand for the auto-catalyst metal.
Banking and mining stocks have lifted the Australian share market higher, but gains were limited by a slump from the telco sector after the competition watchdog raised concerns over TPG's planned merger with Vodafone Australia.
US stocks have closed up, though well below their session highs as investors pulled back in the last few minutes of trading despite optimism about US-China trade relations and some reassuring signs in British politics.
The S&P 500 and the Dow have closed marginally lower after volatile trading as investors swivelled their focus between China-US trade talks, President Donald Trump's threat to shut down the US government and political uncertainty in Britain.
Gold edged lower as the US dollar firmed against the pound on doubts about Britain's departure from the European Union, but falling equities and prospects of a slower pace of US interest rate hikes in 2019 kept bullion near a five-month peak.
Oil prices have fallen nearly two per cent, echoing the weakness in global stock markets as the focus returned to demand growth concerns and crude prices erased some of the gains made last week on an OPEC-led decision to cut output.