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PRECIOUS-Gold inches up on U.S. election uncertainty, stimulus hopes

    * Weekly jobless claims inch lower but remain elevated
    * Trump says talks ongoing for fiscal aid
    * Gold going to be volatile over the next few months
-analyst
    * Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus:
    * here

 (Updates prices)
    By Arundhati Sarkar
    Oct 8 (Reuters) - Gold edged up on Thursday as uncertainty
about the U.S. presidential election and bets that fresh
stimulus would drive inflation offset investors' improved
appetite for riskier assets.
    Spot gold        was up 0.1% at $1,889.50 per ounce by 1:40
pm EDT (1740 GMT). U.S. gold futures         settled 0.2% higher
at $1,895.10.
    While there is a "pretty robust increase in risk appetite,"
with a firm dollar also weighing, inflation expectations are
keeping gold supported, said Bart Melek, head of commodity
strategies at TD Securities. 
    "We're not saying that there's going to be an inflation
problem right away, but the concern is that if the policies
continue and are repeated post election, then we would likely
see both a lower dollar and real rates that will likely move
lower."
    Capping bullion's advance, Wall Street's main indexes rose
to a one-month high as U.S. President Donald Trump's comments
raised hopes for fresh fiscal stimulus, even as a recovery in
the labor market struggled to gain momentum.                  
    U.S. data on Thursday showed fewer Americans filed new
claims for jobless benefits last week, but the number remained
stubbornly high.             
    Gold is still up 24% so far this year, boosted by
unprecedented government and central bank stimulus worldwide to
revive economies as it is viewed as an inflation hedge and a
safe refuge during economic and political uncertainty.
    "It's (gold) going to move higher, it's going to be
volatile. That's going to be true for the next month going into
the election, it's going to be true for the two months after the
election," said Jeffrey Christian, managing partner of CPM
Group.
    Among other metals, silver        eased 0.1% to $23.81 per
ounce. Platinum        shed 0.2% to $862.81 per ounce, while
palladium        gained 2% at $2,399.31 per ounce. 

 (Reporting by Arundhati Sarkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard
Chang)
  
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