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PRECIOUS-Gold rises but set for first monthly decline in five

    * Silver heads for fifth straight monthly gain
    * World stocks on track for fifth straight monthly gain
    * Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus:
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 (Updates prices)
    By K. Sathya Narayanan
    Aug 31 (Reuters) - Gold prices rose on Monday as the U.S.
dollar fell to a two-year low on a dovish policy shift by the
U.S. Federal Reserve, although the metal was set for its first
monthly decline in five.
    Spot gold        gained 0.2% to $1,967.68 per ounce by 02:09
p.m. EDT (1809 GMT), after hitting its highest since Aug. 19 at
$1,976.14.
    For the month, the metal was down 0.3%, having surged to an
all-time peak of $2,072.49 on Aug. 7.
    U.S. gold futures         settled up 0.2% at 1,978.60.
    "The weaker dollar and the anticipation that we are going to
get further dollar weakness has led to some small increases (in
gold)" said Jeffrey Sica, founder of Circle Squared Alternative
Investments.
    The dollar        fell to an over two-year low, pressured by
the Fed's latest average inflation target policy, which will
allows rates to stay low even if inflation rises a bit in the
future.             
    Low interest rates tend to support gold, which is a hedge
against inflation and currency depreciation.
    "At present there is less risk aversion in the global
marketplace, which is somewhat constraining the safe-haven
metal's bulls," Kitco Metals senior analyst Jim Wyckoff said in
a note.
    A gauge of global stocks was on track for a fifth straight
month of gains.            
    "There is a significant concern that the (equities) market
might have gotten extended and there might be some profit taking
coming, which may lead to a rotation back to gold," Sica said.  
    Gold has gained about 29% this year, supported by economic
uncertainty stemming from the pandemic as well as the upcoming
U.S. elections.  
    Elsewhere, silver        jumped 2.7% to $28.23 an ounce, on
track for a fifth monthly gain.
    Platinum        eased 0.3% to $928.36, while palladium
       rose 1.7% to $2,243.17. Both were set for their second
straight monthly gain.

 (Reporting by K. Sathya Narayanan in Bengaluru; Editing by
David Gregorio and Steve Orlofsky)
  
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