Gold held steady on Friday but was on track for a third weekly decline amid easing political uncertainty in Washington and growing optimism over a coronavirus vaccine.
Spot gold was largely unchanged at $1,809.50 per ounce, while U.S. gold futures were up 0.1 percent at $1,807.30. Bullion was set to fall more than 3 percent on the week. AstraZeneca Plc and the University of Oxford are facing mounting questions about their Covid-19 vaccine trial results after acknowledging a manufacturing error.
The U.K. drug maker said that further research is needed but it didn't expect the additional trial to delay U.K. and European regulatory approvals.
The British government said it has asked the regulator to assess the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine to understand the data and determine whether it meets rigorous safety standards.
Asian and European equities held steady today as easing political uncertainty in Washington and encouraging data from China helped investors shrugged off the disappointing news on the vaccine front.
U.S. President Donald Trump said late Thursday that he would leave the White House if Joe Biden is formally confirmed as the next president by the Electoral College.
Official data showed that profits at China's industrial firms grew in October for a sixth consecutive month and at their quickest pace since early 2017, a further sign the economic recovery is gathering pace.
Meanwhile, the ECB's chief economist Philip Lane on Thursday urged further economic stimulus for the euro zone, saying that the macroeconomic hit from Covid-19 is likely to persist even after medical solutions have been rolled out.
Covid-19 infections in Germany surpassed the one million mark for the first time late Thursday and the daily death toll hit a record as other European countries carefully relax their restrictions.
Addressing the Bundestag, the lower house of the German parliament, Chancellor Angela Merkel has confirmed the extension of the partial Covid-19 lockdown in the country into December.
"We have without a doubt another difficult few months ahead of us," she said.