Gold prices edged down on Tuesday (November 3), 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 per cent at $1,892.52 per ounce by 0353 GMT (9:23 am in India). US gold futures were little changed at $1,892.00 per 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, an economist at OCBC Bank.
As long as there isn't a Democrat sweep, there will be questions on fiscal stimulus, while an uncertain or contested result will likely favor the dollar and weaken gold, he added. Election polls show Mr Biden with an outright majority nationally but the race between both him and Republican candidate Mr Trump remains 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. The fact that there isn't a new fiscal stimulus is holding gold back and it may not happen if Mr Trump gets re-elected because it will take time to negotiate with the Democrats and it will just be drawn out, said ED&F Man Capital Markets analyst Edward Meir.
Gold, which is seen as a hedge against inflation and currency debasement, has gained over 24 per cent so far this year on unprecedented stimulus measures.
Meanwhile, two major state-owned Chinese banks warned on Monday that they could restrict the trading of precious metals and foreign exchange products if the US election fuels market volatility.
Also on investor's minds, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) will begin its two-day meeting on Wednesday, with policymakers expected to keep interest rates unchanged. Silver was little changed at $24.03 per ounce. Platinum fell 0.2 per cent, to $856.71 and palladium gained 0.9 per cent to $2,231.90.