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PRECIOUS-Gold gains as dollar eases, 'second wave' concerns intensify

    * 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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