(Reuters) - Gold prices were flat on Monday as investors maintained a cautious approach ahead of U.S. Federal Reserve's monetary policy decision this week and as optimism around a potential COVID-19 vaccine lifted appetite for riskier assets.
Spot gold was mostly unchanged at $1,941.11 per ounce by 0042 GMT.U.S. gold futures were also steady at $1,948.30.
Asian shares started higher on Monday as hopes of a coronavirus vaccine were rekindled after AstraZeneca resumed its phase-3 trial.
The World Health Organization reported a record one-day increase in global coronavirus cases on Sunday, with the total rising by 307,930 in 24 hours.
Euro zone governments must keep spending heavily to aid the bloc's recovery from its historic pandemic-induced recession, complementing already super-easy monetary policy, European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde said on Sunday.
The dollar index held steady against its rivals. A stronger greenback makes gold more expensive for holders of other currencies.
All eyes were on the U.S. central bank's two-day policy meeting scheduled on Sept. 15-16.
Physical gold dealers in India were forced to offer discounts for a fourth straight week as bullion remained unattractive for most retail consumers.
Speculators increased their net long position in gold by 3,608 contracts to 154,629 in the week ended Sept. 8.
SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.4% to 1,248.00 tonnes on Friday.
Silver fell 0.3% to $26.68 per ounce, platinum gained 0.4% to $928.61, while palladium was steady at $2,321.43.
(Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)
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