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PRECIOUS-Gold gains on higher U.S. jobless claims, economic recovery fears

    * Fundamentals behind gold have not changed -analyst
    * Dollar eases from near one-week high
    * Gold shed more than 3% on Wednesday
    * Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus:
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 (Updates prices)
    By Sumita Layek
    Aug 20 (Reuters) - Gold recovered on Thursday from a side of
more than 3% in the last session, after U.S. jobless claims
unexpectedly topped one million again and the Federal Reserve
minutes reiterated concerns over economic recovery.
    Spot gold        rose 0.6% to $1,940.14 per ounce by 1:42
p.m. EDT (1742 GMT). U.S. gold futures        settled down 1.2%
to $1,946.50.
    "The Fed minutes reiterated the need for people to own gold,
they were still concerned about the coronavirus and its impact
on the economy - that shows they want to stay accommodative and
help consumers stay afloat," said Michael Matousek, head trader
at U.S. Global Investors. 
    Minutes from the U.S. central bank's last policy meeting
showed policymakers were concerned the economy faced a highly
uncertain path and more monetary support may be needed, although
they downplayed the need for yield caps and targets.
            
    An unexpected rise in U.S. jobless claims to back above 1
million last week was also helping gold, analysts said. The U.S.
economy has regained only 9.3 million of the 22 million jobs
lost between February and April.             
    The dollar index        eased from a near one-week high,
making the non-yielding metal cheaper for holders of other
currencies.
    "The main fundamentals behind gold have not changed," said
Edward Meir, an analyst at ED&F Man Capital Markets. "Stimulus
is still coming in and it's very pre-mature to say we're
recovering globally and should see higher rates and stronger
dollar; we are many months away from that."
    Central banks have rolled out massive stimulus and cut
interest rates to near zero to combat the economic toll from the
coronavirus pandemic, prompting 28% gains for the year in gold,
considered a hedge against inflation and currency debasement.
            
    Elsewhere, silver        gained 1.3% to $27.07 per ounce,
platinum        dipped 2.2% to $911.22 an ounce, and palladium
       rose 0.7% to $2,172.54 an ounce.

 (Reporting by Sumita Layek and Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru
Editing by Alistair Bell and Will Dunham)
  
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