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PRECIOUS-Gold gains as dollar rally stalls, virus cases mount

    * Gold still on track for third straight monthly decline
    * Wall St drops as COVID cases jump
    * Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus:
tmsnrt.rs/3mvcUoa

 (Updates prices)
    By Brijesh Patel
    Oct 30 (Reuters) - Gold prices rose on Friday as the dollar
rally paused, with worries over rising COVID-19 cases and
uncertainty surrounding next week's U.S. presidential election
offering support to the safe-haven metal.
    Spot gold        was up 0.6% at $1,879.01 by 01:30 p.m. EDT
(1730 GMT) following two straight sessions of sharp declines.
Bullion is down 0.3% this month. 
    U.S. gold futures        settled up 0.6% to $1,879.90.
    "Gold rebounded as the dollar partially reversed its
surprising two-day rally," said Tai Wong, head of base and
precious metals derivatives trading at BMO.
    "Investors are finding the bottom of the recent range a good
level at which to add to gold holdings ahead of the hotly
contested election next week, which seems likely to return a
one-party government that means much bigger and faster
stimulus."
    The dollar index        was steady against its rivals after
climbing to its highest in a month in the previous session.
      
    Ahead of the Nov. 3 U.S. election day, Democrat challenger
Joe Biden leads President Donald Trump nationally in the polls,
but most competitive states have shown a closer race.
            
    "There's a lot of structural pieces in place for gold to
continue to rise after the election, regardless of the outcome,"
said Kevin Rich, Global Gold Market Advisor for The Perth Mint.
    "Based on the amount of fiscal stimulus that is gone in from
here in the United States and globally ... (and) the enormous
amount of government debt taken on ... that's going to put a lot
of currencies under pressure, including the U.S. dollar."
    Gold, which has risen 24% so far this year, tends to benefit
from widespread stimulus measures from central banks because it
is widely viewed as a hedge against inflation and currency
debasement.
    Concerns about a surge in coronavirus cases in the United
States and in Europe dented investors' appetite for riskier
assets.            
    Silver        rose 1.3% to $23.57 per ounce, platinum       
fell 0.6% to $842.09 and palladium        gained 0.9% to
$2,210.67.

 (Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; Editing by Kirsten
Donovan and Alistair Bell)
  
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