Gold holds advance ahead of US election, Fed’s policy meeting

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Gold held a gain at the start of a crucial week that brings the US presidential election and a Federal Reserve policy meeting - events set to dictate the trajectory of the dollar, appetite for risk, and the precious metal.

Bullion was steady in Asian trade, with Democratic nominee Joe Biden leading President Donald Trump nationally in the latest crop of polls, although some state races are still extremely close. The New York Times/Siena College polls showed Biden leading the race in Pennsylvania, Florida, Arizona and Wisconsin, a quartet of key swing states that Trump carried in 2016.

Gold has given up ground during the presidential race’s closing stages, posting a narrow drop in October for a third straight monthly loss, the longest losing run for the traditional haven since April 2019. Still, while prices have pulled back from the record set in August, holdings in bullion-backed exchange-traded funds remain close to an all-time high as investors track the U.S. contest, the course of the coronavirus pandemic, and central bank action.

“The possibility of post-election turmoil and a contested outcome represents a significant risk in our view, and one that could prove quite gold-positive in the most extreme scenarios,” analysts at RBC Capital Markets wrote in a note.

On the monetary policy front, the Federal Open Market Committee meets shortly after Election Day on November 4-5. The Fed won’t increase the pace of its asset purchases this year or next, and wouldn’t meaningfully boost the US economy even if it did, according to most economists surveyed by Bloomberg ahead of this week’s gathering.

Spot gold gained 0.1% to $1 880.81 an ounce at 1:07 p.m. in Singapore, after rising 0.6% on Friday. Silver climbed 1%, platinum added 0.2%, and palladium advanced 1.7%. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was 0.2% higher after rising 1.2% last week.

Meanwhile, large swathes of Europe enter lockdown this week as governments conclude tougher action is needed to counter the pandemic. U.S. cases eased over the weekend after two straight days of national records.

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