Gold up on safe-haven buying ahead of U.S. election uncertainty
(Reuters) - Gold rose on Thursday as uncertainty over the outcome of the U.S. election upheld the safe-haven demand for bullion and weakened the dollar, offsetting signals from the Federal Reserve that it could hike interest rates next month.
Spot gold rose 0.5 percent to $1,303.42 an ounce at 0332 GMT. The yellow metal touched a high of $1,307.76 in the previous session, its best since Oct 4.
U.S. gold futures were down 0.3 percent at $1,304.70 per ounce.
"Some people think that Donald Trump would become the U.S. president and if that happens it is negative for the U.S. dollar and positive for gold," said Jiang Shu, chief analyst at Shandong Gold Group.
"On the other hand, the U.S. dollar has been rising for almost a month and it needs some technical correction."
Narrowing polls have led markets to price in more risk that Republican Donald Trump might defeat his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in next week's contentions U.S. presidential election, perhaps remembering the turmoil that followed the surprise Brexit vote.
The dollar nursed its losses on Thursday as election concerns overshadowed this week's signals from the Fed that it was on track to hike interest rates next month as the economy gathers momentum and inflation picks up.
The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, fell 0.3 percent to 97.148.
Gold is highly sensitive to rising rates, which lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion, and also boost the dollar, making the metal more expensive for those holding other currencies.
"Nonfarm payrolls data on Friday and U.S. election on Tuesday should provide plenty of volatility," said MKS PAMP Group trader Jason Cerisola.
The key nonfarm payrolls report will be released on Friday. Employers are expected to have added 175,000 jobs in October, according to the median estimate of 106 economists polled by Reuters.
"Even bad data won't change the idea of a rate hike as the Fed has shown that there is a high probability for a rate hike in December," Jiang Shu of Shandong Gold Group said.
Among other precious metals, silver was up 0.8 percent at $18.57 an ounce. It hit a high above $18.73 on Wednesday, its best level since Oct. 4.
Platinum rose 0.5 percent to $993.80. Palladium was firm at $629.10.