Gold Down Over Vaccine Hopes By

© Reuters.

By Gina Lee – Gold was down on Wednesday morning in Asia, giving up gains made during Tuesday’s Asia session.

were down 0.62% at $1,863.35 by 12:33 AM ET (4:33 AM GMT), but remained above the $1,800 mark. The dollar was also on a downward trend on Wednesday.

Investors continue to look to progress on a fresh $916 billion COVID-19 relief measures package presented by U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The price tag for Mnuchin’s proposed package, which he announced via Twitter on Tuesday, is slightly higher than that for a $908 billion package proposed by a bipartisan group of lawmakers during the previous week.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also indicated his willingness to set aside some issues preventing passing the measures, viewed as a strategic retreat aimed at striking a deal.

With only two days left until a Dec. 11 deadline to avoid a government shutdown, the latest developments increased hopes that Republicans and Democrats will reach a consensus ahead of the deadline, even as Democrats oppose McConnell’s insistence on protecting employers from lawsuits. McConnell for his part criticized Democrats’ demands for assistance to state and local authorities, which he views as a bailout.

Across the Atlantic, Brexit trade deal talks between the U.K. and the European Union are also working to strike a deal before the end-of-year deadline.

The European Central Bank (ECB) and the Federal Reserve are also due to hand down their final policy decisions for 2020 on Thursday.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will also convene to discuss BNT162b2, the COVID-19 vaccine co-developed by Pfizer (NYSE:) and BioNTech SE (F:), on Thursday. Should the FDA grant emergency use authorization during its meeting, distribution could begin within 24 hours, according to Health & Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.

The U.K. has already inoculated its first patients with BNT162b2 after the U.K.’s Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency granted a temporary authorization for emergency use during the previous week.

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