Gold Traders Cautious Ahead of French Balloting

Gold prices trod water on Friday as investors awaited the outcome of weekend French elections and possible announcements about tax cuts in the United States.

Spot gold was reported up 0.1% to $1,282.84 U.S. per ounce, but was on track to end its weekly winning streak at five.

U.S. gold futures also added 0.03% to $1,284.20 U.S.

There was the potential for safe-haven buying of gold after France said its security forces were fully mobilized for a presidential election at the weekend after the killing of a policeman by an Islamist militant.

One gold sector watcher expressed the view that moving above $1,290/91 would be significant as it would break above a downtrend that has been in place since gold touched an all-time high of $1,920.30 U.S. in 2011.

Investors are also keeping a close eye on events in the United States,as the Trump administration is said to be ready to unveil a tax reform plan very soon and expects it will be approved by Congress this year whether a health-care overhaul happens or not.

Analysts said gold is at risk of some profit taking after its strong recent run, but should be supported by other factors.

Elsewhere among metals, spot silver declined 0.6% to $17.89 U.S., extending losses into the fifth session. Silver has shed about 3% so far this week.

Platinum slipped 0.4% to $973.75 U.S., while palladium lost 0.2% to $798.50 U.S. after rising over 3% in the previous session.