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PRECIOUS-Gold slips as equities hit record on optimism over virus treatment

    * S&P 500 and Nasdaq scale record levels 
    * Investors eye Fed Chair's address at Jackson Hole this
week
    * Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus:
open
tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7 in an external browser

 (Updates prices)
    By Sumita Layek
    Aug 24 (Reuters) - Gold prices fell on Monday as optimism
over a U.S. health regulator's authorization of a COVID-19
treatment lifted Wall Street stocks to record highs.
    Spot gold        fell 0.5% to $1,929.12 an ounce by 2:35
p.m. EDT (1835 GMT), having jumped 1% to $1,961.40. U.S. gold
futures        settled down 0.4% at $1,939.20.
    "Gold is just consolidating right now with stock indexes at
record highs. It really needs a bigger catalyst, it needs
additional fiscal stimulus, it needs inflation to pick up, in
order to get really going," said Phillip Streible, chief market
strategist at Blue Line Futures in Chicago.
    The S&P 500 and Nasdaq hit record highs after the U.S. Food
and Drug Administration approved the emergency use of blood
plasma in COVID-19 patients and on a report the Trump
administration may fast-track a vaccine candidate.
                
    Meanwhile, talks between top Democrats and Republicans on
coronavirus aid legislation remained stalled.             
    "While COVID-19 vaccine developments and improving economic
data present near-term headwinds to gold, low and negative
interest rates, a weaker U.S. dollar, and expectations for
further stimulus keep the balance of risks to the upside," said
Standard Chartered analyst Suki Cooper in a note.
    Central banks worldwide have rolled out massive stimulus
measures to alleviate the economic damage caused by the COVID-19
pandemic, but that has also increased the probability of rising
inflation.
    Investors are awaiting U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome
Powell's address to the bank's annual symposium in Jackson Hole,
Wyoming, on Thursday for signs of how aggressively it will seek
to handle the long-term recovery from the pandemic.             
      
    Among other metals, silver        fell 0.9% to $26.43 an
ounce, platinum        was down 0.5% at $914.22 and palladium
       eased 1.2% to $2,155.90.

 (Reporting by Sumita Layek in Bengaluru; Editing by Steve
Orlofsky and Tom Brown)
  
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