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PRECIOUS-Gold gains 1% on hopes for U.S. stimulus

    * Dollar fell to a more than one week low 
    * U.S. manufacturing activity unexpectedly slowed in Sept
    * Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus:
here

 (Recasts, adds comments, updates prices)
    By Arundhati Sarkar
    Oct 1 (Reuters) - Gold jumped 1% on Thursday to surpass the
key $1,900 level on renewed hopes for a U.S. stimulus package
that could help ease the economic pain from the coronavirus,
while a easing dollar further boosted the safe-haven metal.
    Spot gold        rose 1.04% to $1,905.06 per ounce by 11:05
am EDT (1505 GMT), having earlier risen to its highest since
Sept. 22 at $1,908.86.
    U.S. gold futures        rose 0.72 % to $1,909.20 per ounce.
    Investors were eyeing talks between U.S. House Speaker Nancy
Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to reach a deal on
the long-awaited COVID-19 relief bill.             
    "If there's a deal, chances are stimulus will reignite the
idea that inflation will move towards the Federal Reserve's
target," which along with the interest rate suppression policy
by the Fed are very good catalyst for gold, said Bart Melek,
head of commodity strategies at TD Securities.
    He added, the breakthrough in the psychological barrier of
the $1,900 level can further drive the market technically a
little higher. 
    The dollar        fell to a more than one week low versus
rivals, making gold cheaper for holders of other currencies.
      
    Meanwhile, U.S. manufacturing activity unexpectedly slowed
in September as new orders retreated, while U.S. weekly jobless
claims drifted lower, but remained at recession levels, further
bolstering the metal's safe haven appeal.
                        
    "The main driver (for gold) is investment money and reaction
to economic headlines, geopolitical headlines and the dollar,"
David Govett, CEO of Govett Precious Metals and a former trader
said. 
    "A lot of those things are factored in but its going to get
worse before it gets better and because of that gold is going to
benefit and move back to $2,000". 
    Elsewhere, silver        rose 2.56% to $23.80 per ounce.
Platinum        was up 1.05% to $897.63 per ounce, while
palladium        gained 1.42 % to $2,337.48 per ounce. 

 (Reporting by Arundhati Sarkar and Nakul Iyer in Bengaluru
Editing by Alistair Bell)
  
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