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Gold Stays Flat Ahead of French Presidential Election

April 21, 2017 at 15:12 by Andrew Moran

Traders are remaining cautious heading into the weekend. Gold futures are flat ahead of Sunday’s historic presidential election in France, which has investors biting their nails in anticipation. The April 23 election is considered to be one of the most important French contests in years.

June gold futures dipped $1.00, or 0.08%, to $1,282.80 per ounce at 14:40 GMT on Friday. Gold is on track to record its first weekly loss in six weeks. The yellow metal had been nearing $1,300 to start the trading week, but has since been shedding its value as geopolitical tensions slightly diminished.

Silver is unable to muster up a rally on the final trading day of the week. May silver futures tumbled $0.21, or 1.21%, to $17.80 an ounce. Silver is also poised to suffer a weekly loss.

French voters go to the polls on Sunday, and the race has essentially come down to the National Front’s Marine Le Pen and centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron. It is expected that none of the presidential candidates will top 50%, which means a final runoff will take place on May 7 between the two candidates with the most votes.

Analysts say that the vote represents a referendum on the European Union (EU) and nationalism; Le Pen has centered her campaign around leaving the bloc amid a phalanx of migrants and a wave of terrorist attacks. Experts contend that if Le Pen is victorious then it could send the market into safe-haven assets.

The situation in North Korea remains a contentious issue for global markets, but it has taken a backseat over the last several days to other more pressing matters.

Meanwhile, investors are also keeping an eye on upcoming US events. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in Washington earlier this week that President Donald Trump and his administration will unveil a comprehensive tax reform plan “very, very soon.”

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