Gold Prices Surge as Investors Eye U.S. Election

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Gold prices were surging Tuesday as Americans lined up to cast deciding votes for the presidential election between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.

Gold for December delivery spiked around noon by $33 to $1,716.20 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The gold price traded as high as $1,718.40 and as low as $1,683.50 an ounce, while the spot price was jumping $31.90, according to Kitco's gold index.

"If it's just gapped up then maybe people are thinking that Mr. Obama may win it," said Tim Harvey, senior vice president at ETF Securities U.S. "Maybe investors had been too aggressive in the selloff, and ... if Obama is reelected then we would expect more quantitative easing, Mr. Ben Bernanke would have the option of keeping his job as long as he wants it."

Romney previously has said he would remove Bernanke as the Federal Reserve chairman if he was elected president. Gold analysts have said removal of Bernanke would leave in doubt the Fed's open-ended, mortgage-backed security purchasing program that the central bank has used to promote monetary stimulus.

Gold prices plummeted more than $40 an ounce on Friday as investors jumped to the sidelines. Monday brought more buying and a slight bump in the price of the yellow metal, but Tuesday's action reversed the losses from last week.

Silver prices for December delivery was adding $1.04 to $32.17 an ounce, while the U.S. dollar index was off 0.11% to $80.62.

"We had a fairly steep selloff last week which really didn't make a lot of sense to me; I definitely think part of it is value buying in the gold space because we had a number of down days followed by some short-covering," said Jeffrey Wright, managing director of metals and mining at Global Hunter Securities.

Another reason gold prices could be poised for an uptick is that physical buying could be on the horizon in India during the holidays of the Hindu calendar, according to Jon Nadler, senior analyst at Kitco Metals, in a morning note.

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