Gold prices declined and were poised to post its first weekly drop in three, as the dollar held firm while additional U.S. fiscal stimulus appeared unlikely before the presidential election.
Spot gold was trading 0.3 percent down at $1,903.60 per ounce by 0649 GMT, having hit a low of $1822.43 on Wednesday, its lowest since October 8. The safe-haven metal has lost 1.3 percent so far in the week. U.S. gold futures were up 0.05 percent at $1,907.85.
The dollar index rose against its rival currencies and was headed for its first weekly gain in three, supported by surging coronavirus cases and stalled progress toward U.S. stimulus.
The U.S. Midwest is battling record surges in new cases as temperatures get colder, prompting authorities to set up a field hospital in the suburbs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Fresh curbs to combat COVID-19 were introduced in Europe, with London entering a tighter COVID-19 lockdown from midnight as the second wave of the pandemic spreads through Europe.
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday he was willing to raise his offer of $1.8 trillion for a COVID-19 relief deal with Democrats in Congress, but the idea was shot down by Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Hopes for U.S. stimulus before the November 3 election faded, while recent data showed cracks emerging in the recovery. Weekly U.S. jobless claims rose by more than expected and hit a 2-month high last week, increasing concerns the pandemic is causing lasting damage to the labour market.
The greenback against a basket of currencies traded flat at 93.76, having touched a high of 93.90 on Thursday, its highest since October 2. The U.S. Treasury yields declined, with the benchmark 10-year note yield trading at 0.729 percent and the 30-year yield at 1.511 percent.
Investors now await the U.S. retail sales, industrial production, capacity utilization, Michigan consumer sentiment index, and business inventories for signs of recovery in the economy.