and massive fiscal spending.
Investors also await the release of U.S. weekly jobless claims data due at 1330 GMT. Economists in a Reuters survey forecast a total of 360,000 new filings compared with 361,000 in the prior week.
A weaker yen lifted gold contracts on Tokyo Commodity Exchange but physical trading had slowed to a trickle in Tokyo, where gold bars were offered at zero premiums to the spot London prices.
"It's the end of the year, so the Japanese market is very quiet. There's still a strong selling interest. Gold doesn't fetch any premiums at this moment," said a dealer in Tokyo.