Gold eased on Friday as the dollar recouped some losses, but uncertainty going into the Nov. 3 U.S. elections limited bullion's losses. Spot gold fell 0.4% to $1,896.84 per ounce, U.S. gold futures fell 0.3% to $1,898.40.
"Gold's moves are really mirroring the dollar at this point," said Tai Wong, head of base and precious metals derivatives trading at BMO. Gold is in a "restive" $1,890-$1,930 range with any dips to the bottom of the range being lapped up, he added.
"The initial pop in gold (and slightly lower dollar) was due to the results of the last presidential debate not likely to make a difference in the election outcome, with (Democratic candidate Joe) Biden comfortably ahead." Denting appeal for greenback-denominated bullion, the dollar index pared some of its losses.
More than 50 million Americans have cast ballots with 11 days to go in the campaign. "Gold still remains stuck in its stimulus limbo range. Stimulus optimism faded after National Economic Council Director (Larry) Kudlow noted that negotiations still have policy and numerical disagreements," Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA, said in a note.
Bullion has gained about 25% so far this year given its status as an inflation hedge amid unprecedented pandemic-driven stimulus across the world.
"Gold's fate will be determined on Election Day, a blue wave signals huge stimulus and hello $2,000, while a Biden victory with the Republicans keeping the Senate suggests a slower grind higher," Moya said.
Kudlow said on Thursday talks on a possible aid deal were ongoing but that larger policy differences with Democrats were unlikely to be resolved with the election less than two weeks away. Silver dipped 1.2% to $24.46 per ounce but was set for a weekly rise. Platinum gained 2% at $902.44 and palladium fell 0.3% to $2,367.44.