Gold hovers below 2 week high, but eyes second weekly gain
Gold prices traded just below a two-week high on Friday, pressured by a firmer dollar, but was on track to log a second consecutive week of gains.
Spot gold was down 0.1 percent at $1,265.99 an ounce at 0102 GMT, after hitting $1,268.91 - its highest level since Dec. 6 - in the previous session.
It was up 0.85 percent for the week.
U.S. gold futures slipped 0.1 percent to $1,269.4 an ounce.
The dollar edged up on Friday though remained on track for weekly losses.
Asian stocks edged up on Friday on new data pointing to steady growth in the U.S. economy, while the euro slipped after a vote in Catalonia favoured separatists wanting to break away from Spain.
Republicans in the U.S. Congress on Thursday advanced stopgap legislation to keep the federal government operating past Friday when funding expires, seeking to avert a self-inflicted disaster just before the Christmas holiday season.
More than 120 countries defied President Donald Trump on Thursday and voted in favor of a United Nations General Assembly resolution calling for the United States to drop its recent recognition of Jerusalem as Israel`s capital.
The U.S. economy grew at its fastest pace in more than two years in the third quarter, powered by robust business spending, and is poised for what could be a modest lift next year from sweeping tax cuts passed by Congress this week.
The federal tax bill that Congress approved this week is expected to provide a modest lift to the U.S. economy in 2018 and 2019, as lower taxes should help consumer spending and business spending, J.P. Morgan economists said on Thursday.
The Bank of Japan kept monetary policy steady on Thursday and its governor said economic improvements alone would not trigger a withdrawal of stimulus, reassuring markets it will lag well behind its overseas peers in ending crisis-mode easing.
The Moscow Exchange will launch deliverable futures for gold in 2018 in a move to further prop up bullion market liquidity, bourse chief executive Alexander Afanasiev said on Thursday.
Workers at Pan African Resource`s , flagship gold mine in South Africa embarked on a wildcat strike on Sunday in a dispute over living allowance, an industry source with direct knowledge of the matter said on Thursday.