* Gold still on track for third straight monthly decline * Equities set for worst week since March; Dollar eases * Biden win could prompt more aid, helping gold- analyst * Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus: tmsnrt.rs/3mvcUoa (Updates prices) By Asha Sistla Oct 30 (Reuters) - Gold rose on Friday following two straight sessions of sharp declines as a rally in the dollar stalled, prompting some investors to seek refuge in bullion after rising COVID-19 cases and the upcoming U.S. elections kept markets on edge. Spot gold rose 0.4% to $1,875.14 after shedding as much as 1% on Thursday. U.S. gold futures rose 0.4% to $1,875.50. "There's good buying from investors who may have missed buying gold the first or second time, but also thinking there are some very good long-term structural positives to gold - rising inflation, weakening dollar," said Robin Bhar, an independent analyst. "Investors are attuned to the fact that gold should be in a portfolio going forward, and that's why we're seeing some good downside support." Fresh coronavirus-led lockdowns in Europe and surging cases in the U.S. weighed on equity markets. Commerzbank analyst Eugen Weinberg said the higher liquidity offered by the European Central Bank, which has committed to take new action in December to ease the economic blow, also supported gold. The dollar edged lower, making bullion a more attractive bet for those holding other currencies. But gold was still on track for a third straight monthly decline, pressured by a lack of progress on a new U.S. fiscal package, given bullion's status as an inflation hedge. Investor focus is now on the Nov. 3 U.S. presidential election, with early polls showing Democratic contender Joe Biden with an edge nationally, but with a tighter lead in battleground states. A Biden win increases the chances of further aid, and that could provide more impetus to gold, Commerzbank's Weinberg said. Gold has gained nearly 24% this year, thanks to unprecedented global stimulus measures. Silver gained 0.7% to $23.44 per ounce. Platinum rose 0.5% to $851.96 and palladium rose 0.3% to $2,198.70. (Reporting by Asha Sistla in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)
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