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Gold may hit record before year end on election risk: Citi

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Gold could hit a record before the year end, aided in part by the risks surrounding the US presidential election, according to Citigroup.

[SINGAPORE] Gold could hit a record before the year end, aided in part by the risks surrounding the US presidential election, according to Citigroup.

Uncertainty over the contest and delays about the outcome may "be under-appreciated by precious metals markets", analysts including Aakash Doshi said in a quarterly commodities outlook. The bank's forecast implies a surge of more than US$200 for bullion futures from current levels.

Gold rallied to an all-time high last month as investors sought havens amid the coronavirus pandemic, but prices have slipped back since then. Citi's outlook reflects rising investor concern about the battle for the White House that pits incumbent Donald Trump against challenger Joe Biden. The already complex race has acquired added tension with Mr Trump's plan to speedily replace the late Justice Ruth Ginsburg on the US Supreme Court.

The election "could be an extraordinary catalyst for gold flat price and volatility skew late in the fourth quarter, even though historically there is no clear pattern for gold trading or price volatility into and after US elections", Citi said,. "That is one reason why we expect gold prices to hit fresh records before year end."

Futures traded at US$1,894.20 an ounce on the Comex at 12.36pm in Singapore, with prices losing ground this week on a rising US dollar. Most-active prices set a record US$2,089.20 on Aug 7. In addition to the election, Citi is very positive on gold amid low interest rates, saying it's in the middle of a bull cycle.

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