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PRECIOUS-Gold retreats as close White House race lifts dollar

* Trump wins battlegrounds of Florida, Ohio and Texas

* FACTBOX-Who is winning the U.S. election?

* 2020 U.S. ELECTION: What you need to know right now

* Graphic: Global markets since Trump's election in 2016 tmsnrt.rs/3mLQXkZ (Adds comments, graphic; updates prices)

Nov 4 (Reuters) - Gold fell more than 1% on Wednesday as the dollar emerged as the favoured safe haven from a much closer U.S. presidential race than investors expected following President Donald Trump’s strong performance in some swing states.

Spot gold fell 1.1% to $1,887.76 per ounce by 1102 GMT. U.S. gold futures dropped 1.2% to $1,888.

“We have a little bit of safe haven demand for the dollar, which is weighing on gold and maybe the gold market needs a little more time to digest this and see whether this uncertainty could really develop into a very unpleasant scenario,” said Julius Baer analyst Carsten Menke.

The dollar rose 0.2% against major currencies.

“When it comes to the longer term outlook for gold, this is very much about the economy. It’s about how we’ll fight the coronavirus crisis and not what’s happening in the White House,” Menke added.

As the United States grapples with a coronavirus surge, Trump’s Democrat challenger Joe Biden would be expected to inject large amounts of stimulus to ease the economic pain. Gold is considered a hedge against inflation and currency debasement, likely to result from the large stimulus.

“If Trump stays in the White House it may not trigger the same kind of inflationary expectations that’s been built into a Biden win, so that’s why gold is coming off even though we have a lot of uncertainty which normally would attract some attention,” said Saxo Bank analyst Ole Hansen.

Dashing Biden’s hopes for a decisive early victory, Trump won the battlegrounds of Florida, Ohio and Texas.

“Now the first question is whether the counting of postal votes will lead to a longer hanging period after all. The associated uncertainty should support gold.” Alexander Zumpfe, a precious metals trader at Heraeus, said in a note.

Elsewhere, silver fell 2.3% to $23.62. Platinum dropped 0.8% to $859.67 and palladium slid 1% to $2,261.09.

Reporting by Swati Verma and Arpan Varghese in Bengaluru; editing by Barbara Lewis

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