Gold slips to 1-month low as dollar gains upper hand

A gold bar is wrapped in a financial newspaper.
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Gold prices fell to a one-month low on Thursday, extending the previous session's sharp slide as the dollar remained the preferred refuge from risks due to mounting COVID-19 cases ahead of the U.S. Presidential election.

Spot gold was 0.4% lower at $1,869.22 per ounce, having fallen 2% on Wednesday. U.S. gold futures slipped 0.6% to settle at $1,868.

"You currently see a move out of the risky assets into safe havens, but the safe haven has been the U.S. dollar," said Quantitative Commodity Research analyst Peter Fertig.

The dollar index rose to more than a one-week peak, benefiting from safe-haven inflows as Germany and France imposed fresh lockdowns to stem a second coronavirus wave.

Ahead of the Nov. 3 election, Democratic challenger Joe Biden leads U.S. President Donald Trump nationally, but the competition is tighter in swing states.

"The precious metals have not seen much safe-haven demand amid a U.S. stock market that has become wobbly this week," Kitco Metals senior analyst Jim Wyckoff said in a note.

Gold pared losses slightly after the release of U.S. GDP and jobless claims data. Jobless claims fell to 751,000 in the Oct. 24 week versus a 775,000 consensus forecast and compared with 791,000 in the prior week.

But gold, considered an inflation-hedge, was still up 22% this year, helped by near-zero interest rates globally and unprecedented stimulus measures.

Meanwhile, the European Central Bank left policy unchanged, resisting pressure to unveil more stimulus amid a new wave of the pandemic, but provided the clearest hint yet of fresh easing at its next meeting in December.

On the physical front, the World Gold Council expected gold demand to improve into year-end in top buyers China and India.

Silver dipped 0.6% to $23.24 per ounce after earlier slipping to a near one-month low, platinum fell 2.7% to $844.02 and palladium was down 1.8% at $2,193.18.