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Gold dips as dollar holds firm, set for a weekly decline

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Gold prices inched lower on Friday, on track for its first weekly decline in three, as the dollar held firm and U.S. stimulus talks showed no progress.

* Spot gold fell 0.1% to $1,906.39 per ounce by 0052 GMT. It is down 1.2% for the week so far, having posted two straight weekly gains.

* U.S. gold futures were up 0.1% at $1,910.60.

* The dollar index was steady near a two-week peak hit in the previous session. The greenback was headed for its first weekly gain in three.

* 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 his fellow Republican, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

* The number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits rose to a two-month high last week, stoking fears the pandemic was inflicting lasting damage to the labour market.

* Wisconsin and other states in the U.S. Midwest and beyond are battling surges in COVID-19 cases, with new infections and hospitalisations rising to record levels.

* The European Union put the onus on Britain to compromise on their new economic partnership or stand ready for trade disruptions in less than 80 days. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will respond and set out his approach to the talks on Friday.

* Holdings in SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 0.15% to 1,276.06 tonnes on Thursday.

* Silver fell 0.2% to $24.26 per ounce, while platinum rose 0.2% to $866.05. Palladium was up 0.3% at $2,358.58.

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