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PRECIOUS-Gold steadies as investors cautiously eye U.S. stimulus
Published at 02/12/2020 at 09:07

(Adds comments, updates prices)

* Britain approves Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine

* Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus: open

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By Nakul Iyer

Dec 2 (Reuters) - Gold steadied on Wednesday as investors were cautious over the passage of a U.S. stimulus package, while markets cheered UK's approval of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, limiting bullion's upside.

Britain became the first country in the world on Wednesday to approve Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine, which will be rolled out from early next week.

Spot gold was unchanged at $1,814.80 per ounce by 0826 GMT. U.S. gold futures fell 0.1% to $1,817.70.

Top Senate Republican Mitch McConnell urged the U.S. Congress to pass a $1.4 trillion spending bill including coronavirus stimulus, while some senators and House members proposed relief measures worth $908 billion.

"There's a little bit of uncertainty over the stimulus deal to go through, and given it's at the lower end of the scale, it is not super supportive," said Stephen Innes, chief global market strategist at financial services firm Axi.

Although talks are a step in the right direction on the fiscal spending front and signal further co-operation likely ahead, stimulus efforts are well below what the market was hoping for, Innes added.

Non-yielding gold is viewed as a hedge against inflation likely to result from stimulus.

Bullion pared early losses after the New York Times reported U.S. President-elect Joe Biden will not immediately act to remove the Phase 1 trade agreement, which President Donald Trump inked with China.

Gold is also seen as a hedge against political and economic uncertainty.

"Gold must remain persistently above its 200-day simple moving average in order to assuage doubts over the integrity of its upwards trend," said FXTM market analyst Han Tan.

In other metals, silver fell 0.7% to $23.85 an ounce. Platinum dropped 0.4% to $996.07 and palladium rose 0.2% to $2,410.84.

(Reporting by Nakul Iyer in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Krishna Chandra Eluri)

((nakul.iyer@thomsonreuters.com; Within U.S. +1 646 223 8780, Outside U.S. +91 80 6749 0417; Reuters Messaging: nakul.iyer.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))