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PRECIOUS-Gold gains as tepid dollar, virus-induced curbs lift appeal

    Sept 21 (Reuters) - Gold prices edged higher on Monday,
propped up by a softer dollar while fresh coronavirus-induced
curbs globally dented hopes of a swift economic recovery, with
investor focus on speeches by Federal Reserve policymakers due
this week.
    
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold        rose 0.3% to $1,954.65 per ounce by 0118
GMT.    
    * U.S. gold futures        inched 0.1% lower to $1,959.90.
    * The dollar index        was down 0.1% against its rivals,
making gold more attractive for buyers holding other currencies.
    * Fed policymakers on Friday began fleshing out what their
new tolerance for inflation will mean in practice, an issue
critical to how investors and households reshape their own
outlooks even if it may not be relevant to any immediate
decisions by the U.S. central bank.             
    * Investors are now looking forward to clues on Fed's
monetary policy as a slew of policymakers are due to make public
speeches, including Chairman Jerome Powell, who will appear
before Congressional committees later this week.             
    * The resurgence in COVID-19 infections across the world in
recent months has forced authorities to gradually reimpose bans
including the mandatory use of masks in all closed public and
private spaces.
    * Britain's health minister Matt Hancock said on Sunday a
second national lockdown could be imposed if people don't follow
government rules designed to stop the spread of the coronavirus,
while some European cities announced new restrictions to curb
surging infections.                          
    * Gold speculators raised their net long position by 10,622
contracts to 165,251 in the week ended Sept. 15.             
    * Holdings in SPDR Gold Trust      , the world's largest
gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose 1.03% to 1,259.84 tonnes
on Friday.             
    * Gold jewelers in India pinned hopes on an upcoming festive
season, with dealers offering discounts for a fifth straight
week to lure customers back to shops, as activity remained muted
in Asian bullion hubs.             
    * Silver        gained 0.6% to $26.92 per ounce, platinum
       was up 1.3% to $939.75 and palladium        was 0.8% to
$2,374.93.

    DATA/EVENTS (GMT)
    1600  Federal Reserve Quarterly Financial Accounts of the
United States

 (Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry
Jacob-Phillips)
  
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