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Gold Up Over Cautious U.S. Stimulus Hopes, Vaccine Hiccups

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By Gina Lee

Investing.com – Gold was up on Friday morning in Asia, as investors were cautiously optimistic over the latest U.S. stimulus measures and as Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE) cut the number of COVID-19 vaccine doses that it will roll out.

Gold futures were up 0.26% at $1,845.80 by 11:48 PM ET (3:48 AM GMT) as investors slowly turned to the safe-haven yellow metal. Holdings of the SPDR Gold Trust (P:GLD) fell 0.1% to 1,189.82 tons on Thursday from 1,191.28 tons on Wednesday.

Pfizer said on Thursday that it would produce only 50 million doses of BNT162b2, its COVID-19 vaccine co-developed with BioNTech, after reports of supply chain issues. The number of doses is down from an earlier target of 100 million doses.

A bipartisan, $908 billion proposed package was slowly gaining momentum in the U.S. Congress on Thursday. Democrats and Republicans have until Dec. 11 to reach a consensus on the package's price tag and avert a government shutdown.

The country also continues to fight a virulent second wave of COVID-19 cases. U.S. hospitalizations topped 100,000, and California's governor Gavin Newson warned stay-at-home orders could be imposed in every region of the state, the San Francisco Bay Area excepted, later in the week.

Data released on Thursday also highlighted COVID-19's economic impact, with 712,000 jobless claims filed during the past week. The number of claims was down from the forecasted 775,000 claims and the previous week’s 787,000 claims but remaining high. Further labor market data, including manufacturing payrolls and non-farm payrolls, are due later in the day.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank will meet for their respective policy decisions during the following week.

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