Gold ends near $1,310, awaits news on budget deadlock

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Gold settled lower near $1,310 on Friday as the dollar index rebounded from eight-month lows, although moves in most financial markets were muted as the U.S. government shutdown dragged on.

"There doesn't seem to be a lot of fear yet priced into financial markets (from the shutdown), and until there is, I don't think gold will do much," Deutsche Bank's global head of commodity research Michael Lewis said.

Of more interest are developments surrounding the raising of the U.S. debt ceiling, which would have a much greater impact on perceptions of risk, he said. Congress must increase the country's borrowing limit on Oct. 17 or risk default.

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"If (risk perceptions) started to deteriorate, that would affect growth expectations in the U.S., and that would then have an impact on the dollar and expectations for the tapering of the quantitative easing program, and probably also the equity markets," he said.

"That would probably be quite constructive for gold."

Spot gold was last at $1,308 an ounce, down 0.7 percent, while for December delivery settled $7.70 lower at $1,309.90 an ounce.

Asian demand for physical gold picked up this week, especially in Japan and Thailand, when prices fell below $1,300 an ounce, but interest waned when the market moved off the lows.

The world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, New York's SPDR Gold Shares, reported a second daily outflow on Thursday of 1.8 tonnes, suggesting investors' appetite for gold remains soft.

--By Reuters

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