July 31 (Reuters) - Gold prices on Friday were on track for their best month in more than four years, as a weaker dollar and worries over the global economic fallout from the mounting COVID-19 cases drove investors towards the safe-haven metal. FUNDAMENTALS * Spot gold was steady at $1,958.99 per ounce by 0029 GMT. Bullion rose 10% so far this month, its biggest percentage rise since February 2016. The metal was also on track for its eighth straight weekly gain. * U.S. gold futures rose 0.5% to $1,953. * The dollar index fell 0.3% to a more than two-year low against its rivals after U.S. President Donald Trump suggested an election delay. A weaker dollar makes gold cheaper for holders of others currencies. * More than 17.15 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 668,419 have died, according to a Reuters tally. * A spike in COVID-19 cases in the United States has dented hopes for a quick economic recovery, driving inflows into safe-haven assets such as gold, which has risen more than 28% so far this year. * Gold is often used as a safe store of value during times of political and financial uncertainty. * Underscoring impact from the virus, U.S. GDP collapsed at a 32.9% annualized rate during the second quarter, the deepest decline in output since the government started keeping records in 1947, the Commerce Department said. * Meanwhile, Japan's industrial output rose 2.7% in June from the previous month to mark the first advance in five months, government data showed on Friday. * Silver slipped 0.7% to $23.39 per ounce, platinum eased 0.2% to $901.27 and palladium dropped 0.8% to $2,065.33. DATA/EVENTS (GMT) 0100 China NBS Manufacturing PMI July 0530 France GDP Preliminary QQ Q2 0900 EU GDP Flash Prelim YY, QQ Q2 1230 US Consumption, Adjusted MM June (Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)
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