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PRECIOUS-Gold steadies on softer dollar, rising coronavirus cases

    * U.S. Fed Vice Chair Clarida to speak at 1900 GMT
    * Dollar touches one-week low, equities rally
    * Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus:
tmsnrt.rs/3mvcUoa

 (Recasts, adds comment, updates prices)
    By Eileen Soreng
    Nov 16 (Reuters) - Gold steadied near a one-week high on
Monday as the dollar weakened, with concerns over mounting
coronavirus cases offsetting a risk rally driven by optimism
over a vaccine.
    Spot gold        was little changed at $1,889.01 per ounce
by 0743 GMT, having earlier hit its highest level since Nov. 9
at $1,898.81. 
    U.S. gold futures        were flat at $1,886.70.
    The dollar index        hit a one-week trough, while Asian
equities hit a record high.                   
    Coronavirus cases crossed the 11-million mark in the United
States on Sunday, prompting new restrictions in Michigan and
Washington, while President-elect Joe Biden's top advisers
called for urgent action to address the crisis.             
    "There still are underlying problems in structural
economies, with job creation being the biggest problem," said
Stephen Innes, chief global market strategist at financial
services firm Axi, adding that action from governments and
central banks was needed to stimulate economies. 
    New York Federal Reserve Bank President John Williams said
on Friday the U.S. economy is still in a "deep hole" and rising
infections could slow growth.             
    Several Fed policymakers are scheduled to give speeches this
week, beginning with Vice Chair Richard Clarida at 1900 GMT at a
virtual talk hosted by the Brookings Institution.             
    "Comments from bankers may not be sufficient to rally gold
markets to the heights experienced earlier in the year, a dose
of fiscal or monetary stimulus may however be effective," Avtar
Sandu, senior commodities manager at Phillip Futures, said in a
note.
    Gold, which tends to benefit from stimulus measures from
central banks as it is considered a hedge against inflation and
currency debasement, has gained over 24% this year.
    Prices fell 3.3% last week after Pfizer         said its
experimental COVID-19 vaccine was over 90% effective based on
initial trial results.             
    Silver        rose 1.1% to $24.89 per ounce. Platinum       
gained 1.2% to $899.37, while palladium        was 0.9% higher
at $2,343.90. 

 (Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi
Aich and Devika Syamnath)
  

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