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PRECIOUS-Gold falls as fading U.S. stimulus hopes benefit dollar

    * Surging cases in Europe prompt fresh restrictions 
    * Equities march lower on virus worries, stimulus doubts
    * Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus:
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tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7 in an external browser

 (Updates prices)
    By Nakul Iyer
    Oct 15 (Reuters) - Gold fell on Thursday as the dollar
gained after U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin dimmed hopes
for a new fiscal stimulus package before the Nov. 3 presidential
election.
    Spot gold        was down 0.4% at $1,893.34 per ounce by
1147 GMT, after rising as much as 1.2% on Wednesday. U.S. gold
futures         fell 0.5% to $1,897.10 per ounce.
     "The dollar just continues to be the preferred source of
safe-haven flows which has negatively impacted gold," said OANDA
analyst Craig Erlam. 
    Mnuchin said he and Democratic lawmakers were "far apart" on
terms for a coronavirus economic relief package, and that a deal
would be hard to reach before the election, souring risk
sentiment and pushing investors to seek safety in the dollar.
                   
    "If we're going to really generate upside momentum to take
us through $2,000 in gold, we need to see more than a stimulus
deal," OANDA's Erlam said. 
    Gold, considered a hedge against inflation, currency
debasement and uncertainty, has gained more than 24% this year,
driven mainly by unprecedented levels of global stimulus to
cushion economies from the pandemic-induced slump. 
    "As we get closer to the election and if it becomes more
apparent that the Democrats may win, then gold may see a rise
given their planned spend is significant higher, but at the
moment the market is waiting for further clarity," said Cameron
Alexander, manager of precious metals research at Refinitiv
Metals Research.
    Aggravating fears for a hoped-for economic recovery, a surge
in COVID-19 infections across Europe prompted tighter
restrictions.             
    Market participants also kept a close watch on developments
in ongoing Brexit negotiations as a two-day summit of European
Union leaders began on Thursday.             
    Elsewhere, silver        slipped 1.7% to $23.87 per ounce,
platinum        fell 0.5% to $852.54 and palladium       
dropped 0.5% to $2,333.56. 

 (Reporting by Nakul Iyer in Bengaluru
Editing by Mark Heinrich, Kirsten Donovan)
  
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