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PRECIOUS-Gold extends gains after Trump tests positive for COVID-19

    * U.S. futures sink on Trump news
    * Gold up 2.9% so far this week, silver up 5%
    * Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus:
here

 (Recasts, adds comments, updates prices)
    By Brijesh Patel
    Oct 2 (Reuters) - Gold extended gains on Friday en route to
its best week in nearly two months as investors sought
safe-haven assets after U.S. President Donald Trump tested
positive for COVID-19.
    Spot gold        was up 0.5% at $1,915.34 per ounce by 0645
GMT, reversing losses from early Asian trade. U.S. gold futures
        rose 0.3% to $1,922.20.
    Bullion has gained 2.9% so far in the week, heading for its
biggest weekly percentage rise since the week ended Aug. 7.
    "The Trump COVID-19 diagnosis has caused an immediate spike
in gold prices as investors rush to (safe-) haven positioning,"
said Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst at OANDA.
    "We expect risk-aversion will remain elevated... Depending
on how this situation evolves over the weekend, notably if more
members of the U.S. government's senior leadership are diagnosed
positive, gold could be set for an extended rally."
    U.S. stock index futures sank as much as 2% on the news that
Trump and his wife Melania had tested positive for COVID-19 and
were going into quarantine, coming weeks ahead of elections.
                        
    "This news should be favourable to gold because we probably
going to see stimulus at some point in time soon. People should
be owning gold here," said Stephen Innes, chief market
strategist at AxiCorp.
    On Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a
$2.2 trillion Democratic plan to provide more economic relief
from the COVID-19 pandemic.             
    Gold tends to benefit from widespread stimulus measures as
it is widely viewed as a hedge against inflation.
    Gold also shrugged off a buoyant dollar.              
    Elsewhere, silver        gained 0.7% to $24.07 per ounce and
has risen more than 5% so for this week. 
    Platinum        eased 0.2% to $894.82 and palladium       
edged 0.1% lower to $2,311.95.

 (Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi
Aich and Subhranshu Sahu)
  
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