PRECIOUS-Gold climbs to nine-year high on weaker dollar, stimulus bets

    July 22 (Reuters) - Gold rose to its highest since September
2011 on Wednesday, propelled by a softer U.S. dollar and
expectation of more stimulus measures to resuscitate
pandemic-hit economies which could stoke inflation. 
    * Spot gold        was up 0.1% at $1,843.09 per ounce by
0034 GMT, after hitting its highest in nearly nine years at
$1,847.30 in early Asian trade. 
    * U.S. gold futures        rose 0.1% to $1,845.90.
    * The dollar index        held near a more than four-month
low, making gold less expensive for holders of other currencies.
    * Coronavirus cases continue to surge in the United States.
President Donald Trump told reporters at the White House that
the virus would probably get worse before it gets better.
    * U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the United States
wants to build a global coalition to counter China as he accused
Beijing of exploiting the pandemic to further its own interests.
    * White House officials and top congressional Democrats
discussed a next round of coronavirus relief that would include
extended unemployment insurance and more money for schools.
    * Japan's factory activity contracted for a 15th straight
month in July, indicating the economic pain from the coronavirus
crisis extended into the third quarter of the year as hopes for
a quick global recovery fade.             
    * Gold is used as a safe investment during times of
political and financial uncertainty.
    * SPDR Gold Trust      , the world's largest gold-backed
exchange-traded fund, said its holdings rose 0.7% to 1,219.75
tonnes on Tuesday.          
    * Asia shares were set to open lower on Wednesday after
Trump's comments regarding the country's surge in novel
coronavirus cases outweighed a slight rally on Wall Street.
    * Silver        jumped 5.4% to $22.48 per ounce, palladium
       climbed 0.4% to $2,166.62 and platinum        rose 0.1%
to $882.74.
1400  US     Existing Home Sales        June

 (Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu