PRECIOUS-Gold rises as pandemic worsens, U.S. elections in focus

 (Updates prices)
    * Gold can touch $1,940/oz if election results not clear -
    * Europe's total infections crossed 10 million on Sunday
    * Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus:
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    By Sumita Layek
    Nov 2 (Reuters) - Gold prices gained on Monday on
uncertainty surrounding the outcome of Tuesday's U.S.
presidential election, while a spike in global coronavirus cases
exacerbated fears about an economic recovery, further boosting
the safe-haven metal's appeal. 
    Spot gold        rose 0.8% to $1,893.13 per ounce by 1:41
p.m. EDT (1841 GMT), while U.S. gold futures        settled up
0.7% at $1,892.50.
    "We are expecting an increase in volatility coming in the
next 72 hours. So, because of that people are looking at gold
and silver as safe-haven play," said Phillip Streible, chief
market strategist at Blue Line Futures in Chicago.
    Democrat Joe Biden is leading U.S. President Donald Trump in
national opinion polls, but the race is tight in several
battleground states, with fears that the results may be unclear
on Tuesday night as ballot counting could take days.
    "If the results are not clear, we can go back to $1,940 an
ounce. But regardless of which candidate wins, there are
underlying pieces of continued stimulus, central banks are
expanding balance sheets, interest rates are remaining low for
extended period of time," Streible said.
    Gold, considered a hedge against inflation and currency
debasement, has jumped 25% so far this year amid unprecedented
global levels of stimulus during the pandemic.
    Coronavirus cases continued climbing in the United States,
while Europe's total infections crossed 10 million on Sunday.
    "The gap between both the candidates is narrowing, the
market is looking if this is going to be resolved on Nov. 3 or
drag on for a long time with recounts and is pricing that in,"
said Eli Tesfaye, senior market strategist at RJO Futures.
    However he added, a fast track breakthrough in vaccine could
bring the metal's prices down.
    Silver        jumped 1.4% to $23.94 an ounce, platinum
       gained 0.7% to $854.90, while palladium        rose 0.2%
to $2,215.24.

 (Reporting by Sumita Layek in Bengaluru; editing by Emelia
Sithole-Matarise and Richard Chang)