GOLD

LONDON: Gold was down on Friday morning in Asia, with investors still awaiting the results from the U.S. presidential election. Although Democrat candidate Joe Biden currently holds the lead, the possibility of a contested result remains.
Gold futures were down 0.30% at $1,941 by 11:44 PM ET (3:44 AM GMT), staying above the $1,900 mark. The dollar was up on Friday.
Biden has so far claimed 264 of the 270 electoral votes needed to win, with incumbent President Donald Trump holding 214 votes. Pennsylvania, Georgia, Nevada and North Carolina are currently still counting votes, with Trump already mounting legal challenges to vote counts in Nevada, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Michigan as well as requesting a recount in Wisconsin.
Trump won a court order in Pennsylvania that requires the state to segregate mail-in ballots from voters from those asked to provide missing proof of identification during an extended period for allowing such fixes. The order also allows observers to watch the counting of mail-in ballots in Philadelphia more closely. However, lawsuits filed in Georgia and Michigan were both dismissed.
Trump also cast doubt on the election’s integrity, saying “If you count the legal votes, I easily win. If you count the illegal votes, they can try to steal the election from us.”
A Biden presidency would also potentially face a Republican Senate, which could thwart the passage of large stimulus packages that form part of Biden’s legislative agenda.
Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve handed down its monetary policy on Thursday, keeping it loose as expected. However, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell hinted at a possible shift in Fed bond purchases in coming months, saying “at this meeting my colleagues and I discussed our asset purchases.” Powell also said more fiscal and monetary support will be needed as the uptick in COVID-19 cases dims the economic recovery outlook.
Across the Atlantic, the Bank of England also handed down its monetary policy on Thursday, which boosts an already huge bond-buying stimulus by a bigger-than-expected GBP150 billion ($195.76 billion). The U.K. entered a second lockdown to curb the rising number of COVID-19 cases and continues to work towards a Brexit trade deal with the European Union before the end-of-year deadline.