Dec 22 (Reuters) - Gold edged higher on Tuesday as investors focussed on the U.S. fiscal stimulus package that is set to be voted on by Congress, with fresh restrictions forced by a new coronavirus strain in the UK providing further support to the metal. FUNDAMENTALS * Spot gold rose 0.1% to $1,878.72 per ounce by 0038 GMT. U.S. gold futures rose 0.1% to $1,884.60 per ounce. * A majority of the U.S. House of Representatives voted to move a $900 billion coronavirus aid bill struck by Congressional leaders for a vote on passage on Monday evening. * Economists expect the package to support the pandemic-ravaged economy and set it up for a stronger recovery next year as vaccines become more widely available. * A new coronavirus strain in the UK, thought to be 70% more infectious, prompted a lockdown affecting more than 16 million Britons and caused several countries around the world to shut their borders to Britain, putting Asian shares on course for a weaker start. * Meanwhile, the European Union geared up to start mass vaccinations against COVID-19 just after Christmas after Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech's vaccines cleared regulatory hurdles on Monday. * British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday there were still problems in Brexit trade talks and that Britain would thrive without a deal. * Holdings in SPDR's Gold Trust , the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose 0.2% to 1,169.86 tonnes on Monday from 1,167.82 tonnes on Friday. * Silver rose 0.2% to $26.23 an ounce. Platinum fell 0.5% to $1,004.51 and palladium gained 0.5% to $2,319.46. DATA AHEAD(GMT) 1330 US Q3 GDP Final 1500 US Nov. Existing Home Sales 2350 Bank of Japan releases minutes of monetary policy meeting held on Oct. 28 and 29 (Reporting by Nakul Iyer in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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