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Gold Steady on Jitters Ahead of French Presidential Election

Gold remained firm on Friday, after climbing 0.2 percent the previous session, as uncertainty surrounded the upcoming French elections providing support to safe-haven demand.

Spot gold was flat at $1,281.21 an ounce while U.S. gold futures settled at $1,282.80. Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the biggest gold-backed exchange-traded fund in the world, said its holdings dropped 0.76 percent to 854.25 tonnes on Thursday from the previous day.

Polls ahead of the two-round French presidential vote, which starts this Sunday, gave far-right and far-left candidates a chance of making it into the next month's run-off. Centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron is shown in the lead.

Russia's central bank reported a rise in its gold reserves in March for the third straight month. Gold prices in India were at a premium this week, with jewellers increasing purchases ahead of a major festival. Higher prices held bullion demand in check elsewhere in the region.

Australian-Canadian miner OceanaGold Corp said that El Salvador had no legal basis for restraining its unit in the country while it weighs on what next step it would take on the dispute.
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