Investing.com - Gold prices rallied on Monday, trading just below a six-month high as sentiment in financial markets remained fragile on heightened worries over political instability in the United States.
Comex gold futures were up $11.30, or almost 0.9%, to $1,269.40 a troy ounce by 10:05AM ET (14:05 GMT). The precious metal hit a high of $1,270.30 on Thursday, a level last seen on June 25.
Meanwhile, spot gold was trading at $1,266.42 per ounce, up $10.76, or around 0.9%.
Gold futures trading on Comex closes at 12:30PM ET for Christmas Eve. Markets are closed Tuesday for the Christmas holiday.
Market focus will stay attuned to developments out of Washington after the failure by the U.S. Congress and President Donald Trump to agree to a spending bill by midnight Saturday resulted in a partial U.S. government shutdown.
Trump's budget director and chief of staff on Sunday said the partial U.S. government shutdown could continue to Jan. 3, when the new Congress convenes.
"It's very possible this shutdown will go beyond (December) the 28th and into the new Congress," Mick Mulvaney said on Fox News Sunday.
"I don't think things are going to move very quickly here for the next few days" because of the Christmas holiday, added Mulvaney.
The U.S. Senate adjourned on Saturday without breaking an impasse over Trump's demand for more funds for a border wall.
Building a wall along the border with Mexico to keep migrants from entering the country illegally was a central plank of Trump's presidential campaign, but Democrats are vehemently opposed and have rejected his funding request of $5 billion.
Gold is often sought in times of geopolitical tension or market turbulence.
Meanwhile, reports over the weekend that Trump has privately discussed the possibility of firing Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, whom he appointed, will also be in focus.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin later attempted to defuse the situation, saying in a tweet that Trump told him he had "never suggested firing" the Fed chairman
The Fed lifted rates for the fourth time this year last week and kept most of its guidance for additional hikes over the next two years, drawing the ire of Trump, who has repeatedly attacked the Fed's tightening as damaging to the economy.
In other metals action, silver futures rose 10.8 cents, or almost 0.7%, at $14.80 a troy ounce.
-- Reuters contributed to this report