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PRECIOUS-Gold gains as focus returns to pandemic, U.S. election

    * Gold's broader $1,850-$1,940 range intact- analyst 
    * Equities hit by halted vaccine trials, stimulus talks
impasse
    * Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus:
here

 (Updates prices)
    By Eileen Soreng
    Oct 14 (Reuters) - Gold firmed on Wednesday as uncertainties
over a global economic recovery and the U.S. presidential
election prompted investors to exploit a sharp pullback in the
previous session to buy bullion.
    Spot gold        rose 0.2% to $1,895.16 per ounce by 0729
GMT, after shedding as much as 1.9% on Tuesday on the dollar's
jump. U.S. gold futures        gained 0.2% to $1,897.30. 
    "Whenever there is a price drop, there's a section of
strategic investors who think gold is still a very good hedge
against global uncertainties... So they keep coming in," said
Harshal Barot, a senior research consultant for South Asia at
Metals Focus.
    With the COVID-19 pandemic showing no signs of slowing and
uncertainty over U.S fiscal stimulus, the broader $1,850-$1,940
range remains intact, he added.
    News that key COVID-19 vaccine trials were paused, along
with an impasse in U.S. stimulus talks, soured appetite for
riskier assets while propping up the dollar, capping gold's
gains.                      
    Analysts said fading hopes for a U.S. coronavirus aid
package, especially before the presidential election, after
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected a $1.8 trillion proposal
from the White House, could also limit bullion's gains.
                        
    "In the near term, the dollar could continue to rise both
because of risk aversion because stimulus seems to be stuck and
also because of (company) earnings forward guidance," said
DailyFx currency strategist Ilya Spivak
    But gold's appeal as a hedge against likely inflation and
currency debasement from unprecedented money printing globally
due to the pandemic has seen bullion prices rise about 25% so
far this year.
    "The broader case for gold" is still supportive, with the
global economic slowdown likely to last much longer prompting
lower interest rates, said Metals Focus' Barot.  
    Silver        fell 0.1% to $24.14 per ounce, while platinum
       rose 0.9% to $872.77 and palladium        gained  1.8% to
$2,357.17. 

 (Reporting by Nakul Iyer and Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru;
Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
  
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