LONDON  - Gold prices dived Wednesday to a fresh four-year low, as demand was dented by the soaring dollar after Republicans cruised to victory in US midterm elections, dealers said.

At about 0855 GMT on the London Bullion Market, the precious metal plunged to $1,143.47 per ounce — which was its lowest level since April 23, 2010.

Sister metal silver meanwhile sank to $15.19 per ounce, touching a nadir last seen in February 2010.

The US dollar has rallied against major rival currencies since Republicans took control of the Senate from Democrats overnight.

The result is a stinging setback for US President Barack Obama and his fellow Democrats for the last two years of his presidency. “Last night’s win for the Republicans in the US mid-term elections has left Obama as a lame duck president and sent the greenback soaring,” said analyst Tony Cross at brokers Trustnet Direct.

“Because the commodity prices are in dollars, any appreciation of the dollar has a corresponding depreciation on the commodity price.”

The stronger greenback makes dollar-priced commodities like gold cheaper for buyers using weaker currencies, which in turn tends to hit demand and prices.

Cross added that the Republican win boosted the dollar because there was a market “assumption that the party’s policies are more pro-business, so better for the economy”. Last Friday, gold had also plunged to a four-year nadir on the back of the soaring dollar. The metal has slumped in value since the US Federal Reserve announced last Wednesday that it will end its quantitative easing (QE) stimulus, after six years of pumping easy money into the US economy via asset purchases to shore up growth.