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Gold held near the highest in two weeks amid fresh hopes for more stimulus in the U.S. as coronavirus cases surge, even as more progress is made on vaccines.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he presented a new $916 billion Covid-19 relief proposal to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in the first move by the Trump administration since Election Day to break a months-long standoff. Still, time is running short on passing a bill before Congress’ year-end break, with cases in the U.S. surpassing 15 million.

Vaccine rollouts are being closely followed as infections surge in some parts of the world. U.S. regulators gave early indications they may grant emergency-use authorization to Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE).’s vaccine, calling the shot highly effective with no safety issues. Britain became the first country to start administering the vaccine to its population, kicking off the western world’s Covid immunization campaign.

While vaccine developments have curbed demand for havens, bullion is still heading for the biggest annual gain in a decade amid the unprecedented amounts of stimulus used to cushion economies from the pandemic’s impact. Global central banks are embarking on fresh waves of bond-buying, with the European Central Bank expected to increase its own purchase plans when it meets on Thursday.

Spot gold was steady at $1,869.43 an ounce at 8:15 a.m. in Singapore, after climbing to $1,875.39 on Tuesday, the highest intraday level since Nov. 23. Silver added 0.1%, platinum rose 0.2% while palladium was little changed. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was steady.

 

SUMBER