SINGAPORE: Gold extended gains on Wednesday ahead of the result of a tightly fought US presidential election, after rising nearly 2 percent the session before on speculation that victory for Barack Obama could mean further economic stimulus.
President Obama was gaining momentum against Republican challenger Mitt Romney on Tuesday, as US voters decided between two starkly different visions for the country.
Bullion rallied to an 11-month high above $1,795 an ounce in early October after the US Federal Reserve announced its third round of aggressive economic stimulus in September, helping gold by fuelling fears of inflation and maintaining pressure on interest rates.
"If Obama wins, then we are likely to see loose monetary policy continuing," said Lynette Tan, senior investment analyst at Phillip Futures in Singapore.
"A Romney win would probably pressure gold, however, as ... there's probably more hope for an economic recovery (under Romney) and less demand for an alternative investment in gold."
Gold reversed early losses to hit around $1,722 an ounce, its strongest since Nov. 1. It stood at $1,719.06 at 0303 GMT, up $3.72.
US gold for December added $4.00 an ounce to $1,719.
"The market is really calm, which means consumers are not doing much. They are just waiting to see (the outcome of the US vote). People have taken the opportunity to buy back after the market dropped on Friday," said a physical dealer in Singapore.
"I think India has bought enough, unless there's a sudden last-minute rush."
The festive season in main gold consumer India peaks in November with Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights. Weddings also take place at this time, with gold jewellery forming a key part of the dowry daughters receive from their parents
But gold imports to India could fall to 550 tonnes next year, after touching 967 tonnes in 2011, as high inflation and prices bite into disposable incomes of consumers, the head of a trade body said on Tuesday.
In other markets, shares were capped while the yen gained as investors guarded against the risk of an indecisive outcome in the close-fought US vote.