November 1, 2016 / 2:56 PM / 3 years ago

PRECIOUS-Gold at 1-month high as U.S. election jitters intensify

* Dollar, stocks retreat ahead of U.S. election
    * Fed meeting eyed for clues on U.S. rate hikes
    * GRAPHIC-2016 asset returns: reut.rs/1WAiOSC

 (Updates prices; adds comment, byline, NEW YORK dateline)
    By Marcy Nicholson and Jan Lopatka
    NEW YORK/LONDON, Nov 1 (Reuters) - Gold, silver and platinum
rallied to one-month highs on Tuesday as concerns over the
outcome of the U.S. election sparked losses in stocks and the
dollar, prompting investors to seek out precious metals as a
haven from risk.
    The announcement of an FBI investigation into Hillary
Clinton's use of a private email server during her time as
Secretary of State helped send the VIX, the so-called
fear index of market volatility, to its highest in seven weeks,
fueling widespread risk aversion. 
    Fresh opinion polls showed Democrat Clinton's lead over
Republican Donald Trump has narrowed slightly since early last
week.
    Spot gold hit its highest since early October at
$1,291.34 an ounce and was up 1.1 percent at $1,290.92 by 3:05
p.m. EDT (1905 GMT). U.S. gold futures for December
delivery settled up 1.2 percent at $1,288. 
    "The Trump risk seems to be back in the market at least to
some extent," Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch said. 
    A Trump win would likely boost gold due to uncertainty over
U.S. economic and foreign policy, HSBC said in a research note.
    "The market is reacting to the weaker dollar and general
financial uncertainty across the board," said James Steel, chief
metals analyst for HSBC Securities in New York.
    "We have some movement out of risk and into bullion," he
said.
    The dollar fell 0.8 percent against a basket of major
currencies and stocks were on the back foot going into the final
days of a fractious U.S. presidential campaign. 
 
    Silver was up 2.9 percent at $18.38 an ounce, having
peaked at $18.49, while platinum was up 1.5 percent at
$991.50, off an earlier one-month high of $997. Palladium 
was up 2.4 percent at $633.50. 
    The two-day Federal Open Market Committee meeting began on
Tuesday and will also be closely monitored for clues on the
timing of a possible U.S. interest rate hike.
    Gold is highly sensitive to rising U.S. interest rates as
higher borrowing costs increase the opportunity cost of holding
non-yielding bullion while boosting the dollar, in which it is
priced.
    Markets were pricing in around a 78 percent chance the Fed
will raise rates in December, but just a 6 percent chance of a
hike this week, according to the CME Group's FedWatch Tool.
    With the prospect of a Fed rate hike explicitly tied to the
strength of the U.S. economy, traders are also keenly awaiting
the release of U.S. non-farm payrolls data for October early on
Friday. 

 (Additional reporting by Apeksha Nair and Koustav Samanta in
Bengaluru; editing by Alexandra Hudson and Jason Neely)
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