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Gold trades above US$1,300 as election, interest rates hold focus
[SINGAPORE] Gold rose for a sixth day to trade above US$1,300 an ounce as investors braced for the outcome of the tightening US presidential race next week and weighed the outlook for monetary policy after the Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged.
Bullion for immediate delivery was 0.3 per cent higher at US$1,300.29 an ounce at 9:21am in Singapore, according to Bloomberg generic pricing. On Wednesday, prices rallied to a four-week high of US$1,308.02 on haven demand as global equities fell for the sixth time in seven days.
Gold investors are seeking to navigate the crosscurrents of the US poll, with a possible victory for Donald Trump seen buoying prices, and the Fed's next steps, with a hike in December potentially hurting them.
The Federal Open Market Committee said on Wednesday that it only needed "some" further evidence inflation and employment were on track toward its goals in order to hike, after leaving rates unchanged for the seventh consecutive meeting.
"Gold was stronger on the back of safe-haven buying as opinion polls on the US election continued to show Trump gaining," Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd said in a note.
"Weak equity markets also helped improve investor appetite. This was despite the FOMC minutes suggesting a rate hike is imminent."
Though traders boosted wagers on a December Fed move after the FOMC announcement, they quickly turned their attention to the potential implications of next week's vote.
Democrat Hillary Clinton has seen her odds of a victory falter after investigators reopened a probe into an unauthorised e-mail server.
"Gold is being driven by Fed inaction - the same inaction that last year pointed to three to four rate hikes during 2016, yet hasn't produced a single one," said Gavin Wendt, founding director & senior resource analyst at MineLife Pty.
"This draws into question the underlying robustness of the US economy."