By Gina Lee
Investing.com – Gold was down on Friday morning in Asia but was headed towards a third consecutive week of gains. Expectations for additional stimulus measures in the U.S. also continue to grow.
Gold futures were down 0.24% at $1,885.90 by 11:30 PM ET (4:30 AM GMT). The dollar was up on Friday.
Negotiations for the measures continued Thursday, with both Republicans and Democrats in agreement that failure to agree was no longer an option. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that a bipartisan U.S. stimulus deal “appears to be close at hand,” but lawmakers from both parties will likely have to work over the weekend to get it through Congress.
Also up for debate is a $1.4 trillion spending bill for the fiscal year beginning on Oct. 1, which must be passed by Friday to avert a government shutdown.
Adding to a surge in cases throughout the country that have led to tighter restriction measures in some areas, the past week saw an unexpectedly large number of jobless claims. The number of claims filed throughout the week rose to 885,000, more than the 800,000 in forecasts prepared by Investing.com and the 862,000 claims filed during the previous week.
On the vaccine front, an advisory panel voted 20-0 with one abstention on Thursday to grant emergency use approval for Moderna Inc's (NASDAQ:MRNA) vaccine mRNA-1273. The Food and Drug Administration, which is widely expected to grant the approval, will convene for discussions.
Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE) and BioNTech SE (F:22UAy) continue to revise information for their COVID-19 vaccine BNT162b2 after an allergic reaction to the jab was reported in Alaska.
The Bank of Japan handed down its policy decision earlier in the day, keeping its interest rate unchanged at -0.10%. In its own policy decision handed down the day before, the Bank of England kept its stimulus unchanged as it awaited the outcome of post-Brexit trade talks between the U.K. and the European Union (EU).
However, hopes of a deal dimmed after Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s office said trade talks with the EU were in a “serious situation” and that no agreement would be reached unless the bloc changed its position substantially.