Gold slides to 3-week low as dollar rises, stocks rebound

Gold fell to a near three-week low on Wednesday as the dollar scaled a 16-month peak and a bounce in stock markets following a recent rout revealed renewed appetite for riskier investments.

However, the metal remained on track for its best month since January, ending a six-month run of losses in October, the longest such streak since a period from August 1996 to January 1997, boosted by stock market volatility.

Spot gold was down 0.71 percent at $1,213.93 per ounce having touched its lowest since Oct. 11 at $1,211.52.

U.S. gold futures settled at $1,215.

"Gold has struggled to benefit as a safe haven asset," said Suki Cooper, precious metals analyst at Standard Chartered Bank. "In the near term, gold is very much driven by the risk-environment, the equity market performance and the strength of the dollar."

The dollar index climbed to its highest level in 16 months while stock markets bounced after a brutal October.

Gold has fallen by about 11 percent since April, hit by rising U.S. interest rates and a global trade war that threatens economic growth, prompting investors to rush to the safety of the dollar, making bullion more expensive for holders of other currencies.

"The next key event to watch is the U.S. midterm election and the real implications for gold will be based on how the dollar reacts," Cooper said.

The midterm elections on Nov. 6 will determine whether the Republican or Democratic party controls the U.S. Congress.

"If there are signs that the Republicans are going to do well, this will probably lead to yet more dollar strength," said Alasdair Macleod, head of research at GoldMoney.com

In other precious metals, silver fell 1.32 percent to $14.25 per ounce, having slipped as low as $14.21, matching a low last touched on Oct. 10.

"A number of factors that are impacting gold, such as the dollar and the equity markets, are as important for the silver markets. But we're seeing a more pronounced weakness in silver because its fundamentals have weakened," Standard Chartered's Cooper said.

Platinum was up 0.44 percent at $836.20 while palladium rose nearly 1 percent to $1,082.10.