Gold Stays Near 7-Month Highs Before Comey, U.K. Election, ECB

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Includes: DGL, DGLD, DGP, DGZ, DZZ, GEUR, GHE, GHS, GLD, GLDI, GLDW, GLL, GTU, GYEN, IAU, OUNZ, PHYS, QGLDX, SGOL, UBG, UGL, UGLD
by: Investing.com

Gold prices were just shy of their strongest level in seven months in early European trading on Thursday, as investors remained cautious ahead of testimony by former FBI director James Comey, Britain's general election and a European Central Bank policy decision.

Comex gold futures were at $1,289.93 a troy ounce by 2:55 AM ET (06.55 GMT), down $3.30 or around 0.3%. Meanwhile, spot gold was at $1,287.36, not far from seven-month highs of $1,298.80 touched earlier in the week.

Gold prices settled in the red on Wednesday, pulling back after posting gains for three sessions in a row, as investors awaited the outcome of a bevy of potential market-moving events this week.

Former FBI director James Comey is scheduled to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee investigating Russia's alleged meddling in the 2016 U.S. election at 10:00 AM ET (14.00 GMT) Thursday.

In his first public appearance since Trump fired him on May 9, Comey is expected to be asked about conversations in which the president is reported to have pressured him to drop an investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn, whose ties to Russia are under scrutiny.

Comey was leading the FBI's probe into the allegations, and his firing sparked a political uproar last month.

Investors are fearful that the Trump administration may be further damaged by any revelations that could emerge when Comey testifies about Russia’s alleged involvement in the U.S. election.

Meanwhile, Britons will head to the polls on Thursday, with voters set to elect 650 members to the Lower House of Parliament from which a government will be formed.

A final flurry of opinion polls on Wednesday gave Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative Party a lead between 5 and 12 percentage points over the main opposition Labour Party, suggesting she would increase her majority.

Also Thursday, the European Central Bank's latest interest rate decision is due at 11.45 GMT (7:45 AM ET). Most of the focus will be on President Mario Draghi's press conference 45 minutes after the announcement.

With economic growth clearly shifting into higher gear and political risks declining, investors will look for clues on when and how the ECB could scale back its massive asset purchase program.

Also on the Comex, silver futures dipped 1.3 cents, or about 0.1%, to $17.60 a troy ounce.

Elsewhere in metals trading, platinum ticked up 0.1% to $948.70, while palladium added 0.6% to $833.12 an ounce.

Copper futures rose 1.6 cents to $2.567 a pound, after China reported stronger-than-anticipated exports and imports for May, suggesting the economy is holding up better than expected.

The Asian nation is the world’s largest copper consumer, accounting for almost 45% of world consumption last year.

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