"The market is certainly on hold," said David Meger, director of metals trading for High Ridge Futures in Chicago. "The tilt right now is towards that camp of remaining. Under that premise, we realize there would be a lesser need for safe-haven assets, such as gold."
This can change "very rapidly if that expectation is not met," Meger said, adding that if Britons vote to leave, he would expect a knee-jerk rally in bullion prices.
The metal is often perceived as a hedge against economic and financial uncertainty. "In case of a "Leave" win, any rise in gold would not be long lasting because this would not result in a deep economic or financial crisis," said Julius Baer analyst Carsten Menke, adding that a "Remain" vote would see prices fall towards the $1,200 mark.
Polls by ComRes, conducted for the Daily Mail newspaper and ITV television, and by YouGov for The Times newspaper in London, showed a last-minute rise in support for Britain to remain in the EU.