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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