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PRECIOUS-Gold dips on firmer dollar, COVID-19 vaccine hopes

    Nov 19 (Reuters) - Gold fell on Thursday in early Asian
trade as the dollar gained some ground and progress in COVID-19
vaccine development dented the precious metal's appeal. 

    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold        fell 0.1% to $1,869.86 per ounce by 0103
GMT, while U.S. gold futures        were down 0.3% at $1,868.70.
    * After falling for five straight sessions, the dollar index
       was up 0.2%, making gold expensive for holders of other
currencies.       
    * Pfizer         announced on Wednesday that the final
results from the late-stage trial of its COVID-19 vaccine showed
it was 95% effective.              
    * President-elect Joe Biden expressed hope on Wednesday that
Republicans in the U.S. Congress would be more inclined to move
forward on COVID-19 relief legislation after President Donald
Trump leaves office in January.             
    * Forty-one U.S. states have reported daily record increases
in COVID-19 cases in November, 20 have registered new all-time
highs in coronavirus-related deaths from day to day, and 26 have
reported new peaks in hospitalizations, according to the Reuters
tally.             
    * The U.S. economy is now affected more by swings in
COVID-19 infections than it is by restrictions on certain
activities, and a surge in cases could slow growth, New York
Federal Reserve Bank President John Williams said on Wednesday.
            
    * Britain and the European Union are in the last moments to
reach a trade deal that would regulate their relationship after
Britain's transition period ends on Jan 1, 2021, the EU's Trade
Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis said on Wednesday.             
    * Holdings in SPDR Gold Trust      , the world's largest
gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 0.60% to 1,219.00 tonnes
on Wednesday.             
    * Silver        fell 0.3 % to $24.24 per ounce. Platinum
       eased 0.5% to $937.30, while palladium        was down
0.7% at $2,311.91. 
    
    DATA/EVENTS (GMT)
    1330  US         Initial Jobless Clm            Weekly
    1330  US         Philly Fed Business Indx       Nov
    1500  US         Existing Home Sales            Oct
    

 (Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru; Editing by
Ramakrishnan M.)
  

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