PRECIOUS-Gold heads for weekly gain on muted dollar, U.S. stimulus bets

Reuters

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 (Updates prices)
    * Silver set for 1st weekly gain in four
    * POLL-Dollar weakening expected to last into 2021
 urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N2II30I
    * Gold, precious metal funds see biggest outflows in 7-1/2
years
-Lipper  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N2IJ1AU

    By Asha Sistla
    Dec 4 (Reuters) - Gold prices steadied in a tight range on
Friday and were set for their first weekly gain in four as the
dollar weakened on expectations of additional U.S. stimulus. 
    Spot gold  XAU=  was little changed at $1,840.60 per ounce
by 1258 GMT, and has added about 3% so far this week. U.S. gold
futures  GCv1  were up 0.3% at $1,845.70.
    "The market is now expecting higher world GDP growth in
2021, especially with the rolling out of the vaccine, which will
create a risk-on environment," said Bank of China International
analyst Xiao Fu.
    "But on the other hand, U.S. dollar weakness and a mix of
fiscal and monetary policy, as well as geopolitical risks, are
underpinning gold. So you have those two forces coming at the
same time."
    Unprecedented stimulus packages released this year have
pushed gold 21% higher, given its appeal as a hedge against
likely inflation and currency debasement as a result of the
stimulus.
    The U.S. dollar was on course for its worst week since early
November, making gold cheaper for holders of other currencies.
 USD/  
    A bipartisan, $908 billion coronavirus aid plan gained
momentum in the U.S. Congress on Thursday.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N2IJ1J5 
 urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nW1N2HV00V
    But expectations of a vaccine rollout added to overall
optimism for an economic rebound, keeping stock markets near
record highs.  MKTS/GLOB   urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N2IJ309
    Among other metals, platinum  XPT=  gained 2.5% to $1,055.58
per ounce and palladium  XPD=  rose 1.7% to $2,341.53.
    "Platinum is attracting renewed interest as a global push
for cleaner energy and waning demand for gold promise to lift
demand for the metal," Avtar Sandu, senior commodities manager
at Phillip Futures, said in a note.
     Platinum is used by automakers for catalytic-converter
manufacturing to clean vehicle-exhaust fumes. 
    Silver  XAG=  was up 0.5% at $24.19 an ounce and was set to
climb more than 6% for the week. 

 (Reporting by Asha Sistla and Nakul Iyer in Bengaluru; editing
by Emelia Sithole-Matarise and Louise Heavens)
 ((Asha.Sistla@thomsonreuters.com; If within U.S. +1 646 223
8780; outside U.S. +91 80 6182 2808; Reuters Messaging: Reuters
Messaging: asha.sistla.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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