Picture: BLOOMBERG
Picture: BLOOMBERG

Bengaluru — Gold prices edged down on Tuesday, as cautious investors awaited the outcome of the US presidential election with President Donald Trump closely trailing Democrat Joe Biden in national opinion polls.

Spot gold was down 0.1% at $1,892.52 an ounce by 3.53am GMT. US gold futures were little changed at $1,892.00 an ounce.

“Sentiment is hanging by a thread at the moment. Everybody is quite unsure where the election is headed to, given the number of possible outcomes,” said Howie Lee, economist at OCBC Bank.

As long as there is not a Democrat sweep, there will be questions on fiscal stimulus, while an uncertain or contested result is likely to favour the dollar and weaken gold, Lee said.

Election polls show Biden with an outright majority nationally but the race between him and Republican candidate Trump is closer in several battleground states. Analysts say a Biden win could help the bullion rally with his plans to inject a potentially large stimulus aid.

That there is not a new fiscal stimulus is holding gold back and it may not happen if Trump gets re-elected because it will take time to negotiate with the Democrats, ED&F Man Capital Markets analyst Edward Meir said.

Gold, which is seen as a hedge against inflation and currency debasement, has gained over 24% so far this year on unprecedented stimulus measures.

Meanwhile, two state-owned Chinese banks warned on Monday that they could restrict trading of precious metals and foreign exchange products if the US election fuels market volatility.

Also on investors’ minds, the federal open market committee  will begin its two-day meeting on Wednesday, with policymakers expected to keep interest rates unchanged.

Silver was little changed at $24.03 an ounce. Platinum fell 0.2%, to $856.71 and palladium gained 0.9% to $2,231.90.

Reuters

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