Gold jumps more than 2% as dollar sags

Stacked gold bars at Solar Capital Gold Zrt. in Budapest, Hungary.
Akos Stiller | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Gold prices rose more than 2% on Monday to their highest level in nearly two months, bolstered by the dollar's slide ahead of runoff elections for both U.S. Senate seats from Georgia.

Spot gold was up 2.4% at $1,943.13 an ounce. The session high of $1,944.11 was its highest mark since Nov. 9. U.S. gold futures settled up 2.7% at $1,946.60.

"There is the likelihood that we will see significant stimulus, which will lead to further declines in the dollar," said Jeffrey Sica, founder of Circle Squared Alternative Investments.

The dollar index slid to a 2-1/2 year low, making bullion cheaper for holders of other currencies. Investors were watching Tuesday's run-off elections in Georgia, which will decide which party controls the U.S. Senate.

"The Senate election this week could turn out to be a major disruptive event so gold is rallying on that," Sica added.

If President-elect Joe Biden's Democrats gain control of both houses of the U.S. Congress, his administration would find it easier to push policies such as rewriting the tax code to boosting stimulus and infrastructure spending.

Many investors view non-yielding bullion as a hedge against inflation and currency debasement that they fear could result from large stimulus measures.

Tougher lockdown restrictions are expected in Britain and Japan, as COVID-19 cases mount.

The coronavirus variant in South Africa is likely to have an impact on precious metals prices, said StoneX analyst Rhona O'Connell.

"The ban on flights out of South Africa is going to hit precious metals exports - certainly gold, platinum and palladium ... which are transported by air, and the majority of that is on passenger flights," she said.

Platinum eased 0.4% to $1,063.87 after hitting its highest level since August 2016 at $1,127.82.

Silver gained 3.1% to $27.17 an ounce, touching its highest price since Sept. 15, 2020, earlier, while palladium dipped by 3.1% to $2,372.92.