Gold gained as investors boosted holdings in exchange-traded products to a record and as a drop from the highest price in two weeks encouraged buying.

Spot gold advanced as much as 0.2 per cent to $US1720.50 an ounce and traded at $US1719.53 at 10.21am in Singapore.

A fourth day of gains would be the longest since August.

The metal reached $US1731.82 on Wednesday, the most expensive since October 23.

Holdings in ETPs backed by bullion rose the most in a month to 2591.995 metric tonnes, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Gold has rallied 10 per cent this year as central banks including the Federal Reserve took steps to shield their economies hurt by Europe’s crisis.

President Barack Obama, elected for a second term, faces the task of reaching a compromise with Congress on lowering the deficit before more than $US600 billion in tax increases and spending cuts start in January.

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said the region’s crisis is affecting Germany.

‘‘Policy makers are caught between an effort to lower the deficit without stifling economic growth,’’ John Hummel, who manages $US400 million as chief investment officer of AIS Group, said.

Gold for December delivery rose 0.3 per cent to $US1719.50 an ounce on the Comex in New York.

The Fed said October 24 it will maintain $US40 billion in monthly purchases of mortgage debt and probably hold interest rates near zero until mid-2015.

The dollar was little changed against a six-currency basket including the euro after gaining 0.2 per cent on Wednesday.

US policy

‘‘Without drastic changes to both fiscal and monetary policy, the election is largely symbolic and will not shore up the long-term trend of declining confidence in the US dollar,’’ said Hummel, referring to the US presidential result.

‘‘We are overweighted in gold and view it as a stable haven in an increasingly unstable financial landscape.’’

Bullion of 99.99 per cent purity on the Shanghai Gold Exchange fell for the first time in three days, dropping 0.5 per cent to 345.52 yuan a gram ($US1722.53 an ounce).

Volumes for the benchmark cash contract fell to 3,023 kilograms on Wednesday from a one-month high of 5222 kilograms on November 6.

China’s Communist Party gathers today in Beijing to choose new leaders in the world’s second-largest economy.

Cash silver rose as much as 0.5 per cent to $US31.98 an ounce, before trading at $US31.95.

Spot platinum climbed 0.2 per cent to $US1546.50 an ounce, rebounding from a 0.7 per cent drop on Wednesday.

Palladium was little changed at $US613 an ounce after falling 1 per cent on Wednesday.

Bloomberg