By Gina Lee
Fintech Zoom – Gold
inched down 0.01% at $1,893.20 by 11:46 PM ET (4:46 AM GMT). The dollar, which usually moves inversely to gold, was down on Thursday.
Demands in the U.S. to increase the amount of the stimulus checks from $600 to $2,000 have been dealt a further blow, with Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell refusing a quick vote on the bill on the increase. McConnell also warned that the bill had “no realistic path to quickly pass the Senate.”
On the COVID-19 front, the new strain of the virus first discovered in southeastern England in September continues to spread. California reported its first case of the B177 strain of the COVID-19 virus, while Colorado, which reported the U.S.’ first case, saw a second case.
The spread of this new, highly contagious strain overshadowed progress on the vaccine front. The UK.’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency on Wednesday approved AZD1222, developed by AstraZeneca PLC (LON:) and the University of Oxford, for emergency supply and active immunization of individuals 18 years or older.
In Asia, China approved BBIBP-CorV, one of the two COVID-19 vaccines by China National Biotec Group.
Data released earlier in the day also showed a slowdown in Chinese factory activity growth. December’s at 51.9, down from the reading of 52 in forecasts prepared by Fintech Zoom and November’s 52.1 figure. The was 55.7, also down from November’s reading of 56.4.
Meanwhile, the Queen on Wednesday approved the post-Brexit trade deal struck between the UK. and the European Union. The approval comes after the House of Lords gave the bill to approve the deal an unopposed third reading late on Wednesday and after MPs voted it through by 521 votes to 73.
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