Gold falls after French election result revives risk-on sentiment

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Spot gold was down 0.7 percent at USD 1,275.46 per ounce by 0342 GMT, after falling to a low of USD 1,265.90 earlier in the session. U.S. gold futures were down nearly 1 percent at USD 1,277.30 an ounce.

Gold hits its lowest in nearly two weeks on Monday after centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron won the first round of French presidential election, boosting stocks and sparking a sell-off in the safe-haven bullion. Spot gold was down 0.7 percent at $1,275.46 per ounce by 0342 GMT, after falling to a low of $1,265.90 earlier in the session. U.S. gold futures were down nearly 1 percent at $1,277.30 an ounce.

“Gold prices have fallen sharply this morning due to the improvement in risk sentiment,” said OCBC analyst Barnabas Gan. “Macron and Marine Le Pen have emerged as the two key winners of the French elections. It does remove some of the suspense and risk-off sentiment we saw late last week.”

In France, Macron took a big step towards the presidency on Sunday by winning the first round of voting and qualifying for a May 7 runoff alongside far-right leader Marine Le Pen. “With Macron showing good results, the safe-haven buying dried up pretty quickly and I think this is the reason behind gold selling off this morning,” said ANZ analyst Daniel Hynes.

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The outcome lessens the risk of an anti-establishment shock on the scale of Britain’s vote to quit the European Union, with Macron widely tipped to win the final vote and keep France in the union. The euro scaled five-month highs against the dollar in early Asian trading on Monday on relief at the result, while U.S. stock index futures rose sharply on Sunday.

Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose 0.52 percent to 858.69 tonnes on Friday.

Hedge funds and other money managers increased their net long positions in COMEX gold for the fifth straight week to April 18, lifting it to a five-month high, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data showed on Friday.

Spot silver was down 0.3 percent at $17.82 an ounce, after earlier touching a one-month low of $17.65.

Platinum fell 0.4 percent to $967, while palladium was up 0.8 percent at $978.05.

(Reporting by Swati Verma in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard Pullin and Subhranshu Sahu)