November 7, 2018 / 11:38 AM / 9 days ago

PRECIOUS-Gold rises as dollar sags after U.S. mid-term results

(Updates prices)

* Dollar index falls 0.6 pct

* Democrats will control House for first time in eight years

* Investors await U.S. Fed’s two-day policy meeting

* Platinum hits more than 4-month high

By Swati Verma

BENGALURU, Nov 7 (Reuters) - Gold rose on Wednesday as U.S. mid-term elections delivered a split Congress and pressured the dollar, with investors now turning their attention to a Federal Reserve meeting for clues on future interest rate hikes.

Spot gold was up 0.4 percent at $1,230.68 per ounce at 1333 GMT, while U.S. gold futures climbed 0.5 percent to $1,232.10 an ounce.

“This outcome of the mid-term elections was expected by the financial markets. It would have been a big thing if gold was surprised by that,” said Julius Baer analyst Carsten Menke.

“Today we just see gold moving in lock-step with dollar, the dollar is down and that is what is mirrored in the gold price.”

The dollar index fell more than half a percent, making bullion more attractive for holders of other currencies, as a split Congress dampened expectations for a major fiscal policy boost to the economy.

Democrats won control of the U.S. House of Representatives, giving them the opportunity to block President Donald Trump’s push for a further round of tax cuts and deregulation - measures that have turbo-charged the U.S. economy, stock markets and the dollar, and have kept the Fed on a policy-tightening path.

“This will presumably put paid to any further tax cuts, which means in the longer term that the Fed will need to implement fewer rate hikes, which per se will have a negative impact on the U.S. dollar,” Commerzbank analysts said in a note.

“President Trump may instead focus more on foreign policy, which is likely to generate additional uncertainty. Gold would profit long-term from both factors.”

Investors often turn to gold as insurance at times of financial and political uncertainty.

Market participants will now keep a close eye on a two-day Fed meeting starting later in the day to gauge the outlook for U.S. monetary policy.

While the Fed is expected to keep interest rates steady, markets are waiting to see whether it offers clues about possible rate increases in December and in 2019.

Meanwhile, holdings of the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, SPDR Gold Trust, fell for the third straight session to 756.70 tonnes on Tuesday.

Among other precious metals, silver rose 0.9 percent to $14.67 per ounce, while palladium jumped 1.2 percent to $1,129.60 per ounce.

Platinum was up 0.6 percent at $873 an ounce after hitting $877.50, its highest in more than four months. (Reporting by Swati Verma in Bengaluru; Editing by Adrian Croft and Louise Heavens)

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