Gold price moves north on US debt ceiling drama

Gold hit a nine-day high and may achieve its first positive quarter in a year as the US debt ceiling showdown pushes investors towards safe havens.

Though few analysts expect to see the sort of golden rise that accompanied the 2011 debt ceiling drama, gold jumped to $1,354 on Sunday – the highest since September 20 – before settling in at just over $1,340.

There are at present two deadlines looming: October 1 and October 17.

Last week House Republicans said they would not agree to continue funding the government unless implementation of the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare") was delayed by a year. The Democratic-led Senate is expected to decisively reject the proposal.

Barring capitulation on either side of the aisle before October 1, many of the government's nonessential services will be shut down.

And whether or not a last-minute deal is reached before Tuesday, lawmakers from both parties must then turn their attention to the October 17 deadline, which, if breached, would cause the United States to default on its debt obligations.

On Sunday a New York Times Op-Ed implored the president to ignore the debt ceiling if necessary, pointing out that one way or another, unless a deal is brokered, he's going to have to break the law.

"The Constitution requires the president to spend what Congress has instructed him to spend, to raise only those taxes Congress has authorized him to impose and to borrow no more than Congress authorizes."

"If President Obama spends what the law orders him to spend and collects the taxes Congress has authorized him to collect, then he must borrow more than Congress has authorized him to borrow. If the debt ceiling is not raised, he will have to violate one of these constitutional imperatives."

"All options are bad, but disregarding the debt ceiling [is] the least bad from a legal standpoint."