Gold little changed as market focus turns to US Fed meeting

Gold prices held steady on Monday amid a firm dollar, with markets anxiously awaiting the upcoming Federal Reserve meeting for insight on the timing of a potential U.S. interest rate hike.

Several of the world’s top central banks’ meetings are due this week, including the Federal Open Market Committee meeting, which will be closely monitored for directions on a much anticipated interest rate hike.

“Basically investors are staying on the sidelines before all these key announcements and gold prices should naturally turn higher,” said OCBC Bank analyst Barnabas Gan.

Gold still remains to be a safe haven asset owing to a sense of uncertainty and risk aversion in the markets right now, he said.

Spot gold was up 0.07 percent at $1,276.81 an ounce by 0505 GMT, while U.S. gold futures were up 0.07 percent at $1,277.70.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, was broadly steady at 98.417.

Gold rose more than 1 percent at one point on Friday after the FBI revealed it reopened an investigation of U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email system, sparking fresh tumult in markets, just days before the Nov. 8 presidential vote.

Federal investigators have secured a warrant to examine newly discovered emails related to Hillary Clinton’s private server, a source familiar with the matter said on Sunday.

“Investment demand for gold should pick up towards the U.S. presidential elections given the higher suspense ongoing in the issue,” Gan added.

Speculators raised their net long positions in COMEX gold for the first time in four weeks in the week to Oct. 25, and cut it slightly in silver, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed on Friday.

Gold has now held key technical support and looks set for further gains, MKS PAMP Group trader Jason Cerisola said.

“Silver held 17.50 support and looks likely to test 18.00 in the coming days”.

The bullion is, however, set to end the month lower by 3 percent.

Spot gold may retrace to $1,265 per ounce, as it failed to break a resistance at $1,280, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.

Among other precious metals, silver gained about 0.7 percent at $17.85 an ounce, but was on track to post a monthly decline.

Platinum was down 0.55 percent at $973.45 an ounce and was set to record its third consecutive monthly decline.

Palladium fell 0.6 percent to $615.97, and was heading for its worst monthly decline since last November.

Source: CNBC