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PRECIOUS-Gold rises as dollar weakens, heads for second weekly gain

    * Spot gold up 0.6% for the week
    * Dollar falls 0.1%
    * Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus:
here

 (New throughout, updates prices, market activity and comments)
    By Sumita Layek
    Sept 18 (Reuters) - Gold prices rose on Friday, en route to
a second straight weekly gain, as the dollar weakened and on
concerns about economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis.
    Spot gold        rose 0.6% to $1,953.72 per ounce at 1:52
p.m. EDT (1752 GMT), and was up 0.6% so far this week. U.S. gold
futures        settled up 0.6% at $1,962.10.
    "We're seeing a slightly weaker dollar. Gold prices should
do better because the dollar will continue to weaken," said
Edward Meir, an analyst at ED&F Man Capital Markets.
    "The path of least resistance is upwards because of the Fed,
all the stimulus coming from global central banks (and) more
fiscal stimulus if there's deal in Washington; all the tailwinds
are pointing in the direction for higher prices."
    The dollar        fell 0.1% against rivals, making gold
cheaper for holders of other currencies.       
    The U.S. Federal Reserve vowed on Wednesday to keep interest
rates near zero for a long time, while the United States
considered a proposed $1.5 trillion coronavirus aid bill.
                                                  
    Lower interest rates, which reduce the opportunity cost of
holding non-yielding bullion, and widespread stimulus measures
have helped gold gain over 28% this year as it is seen as a 
hedge against inflation.
    "We believe the balance of risks remains to the upside for
gold and expect prices to average $2,000 per ounce in Q4-2020
and $2,125 next year," said Standard Chartered analyst Suki
Cooper.
     "Barring short-term corrections, negative real yields and a
weaker dollar, alongside the unprecedented stimulus, create a
favourable macro environment for gold and are likely to be the
key price drivers over the coming months."
    Elsewhere, silver        fell 0.8% to $26.88 per ounce,
while platinum        dropped 1.3% to $928.51 and palladium
       rose 1.1% to $2,360.26.

 (Reporting by Sumita Layek in Bengaluru; Editing by Steve
Orlofsky and David Gregorio)
  
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