Spot gold was little changed at $1,885.62 per ounce by 0041 GMT, after hitting its highest since September 2011 at $1,897.16 on Thursday. U.S. gold futures eased 0.3% to $1,884.60.
Prices have risen more then 4% so far this week, their biggest weekly percentage gain since April 10.
China said the U.S. move to close its Houston consulate this week had “severely harmed” relations and warned it “must” retaliate, without providing details of what it would do.
Gold is often used as a safe store of value during times of political and financial uncertainty.
U.S. Senate Republicans will unveil their proposal for a fresh round of coronavirus aid next week, including more direct payments to Americans, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said.
Coronavirus cases continue to rise in the United States, while more than 15.35 million people have been reported to be infected by the virus globally.
The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week for the first time in nearly four months, data showed on Thursday.
Asian markets are set to open mostly lower as China vowed to retaliate against a U.S. order to close one of its consulates.
Silver fell 0.3% to $22.66 per ounce, while platinum rose 0.9% to $913.86 and palladium was steady at $2,125.89.