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PRECIOUS-Gold prices jump 1% as dollar edges lower

 (Updates prices)
    * Trump threatens to not sign U.S. stimulus deal  
    * Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus:
tmsnrt.rs/3mvcUoa

    By Shreyansi Singh
    Dec 23 (Reuters) - Gold prices jumped as much as 1% on
Wednesday, bolstered by a weaker dollar, while investors kept
hopes pinned on a U.S. stimulus package even after U.S.
President Donald Trump threatened to not sign the relief bill.
    Spot gold        rose 0.8% to $1,873.92 per ounce by 13:46
p.m. EST (1846 GMT), paring gains of 1%, while U.S. gold futures
       settled up 0.4% at $1,878.10.
    "The economic data just cements the belief that the economy
is slowing down and that should help the negotiations with
stimulus. ... It's going to be extremely likely that some type
of stimulus deal will still get done," said Edward Moya, senior
market analyst at OANDA.
    "The slightly weaker dollar has provided a move higher for
gold," Moya said, adding the stimulus deal and positive
developments on the Brexit front are needed to further cement
gold's bullish case.
    Raising gold's allure for holders of other currencies, the
dollar        eased 0.3%, while investors expected further
declines in 2021.                    
    Trump threatened on Tuesday to not sign an $892 billion
coronavirus relief bill, seen as a lifeline for the nation's
pandemic-battered economy, saying the amount in the stimulus
checks should be increased.                          
    "Even if Donald Trump declines to sign the bill, it is
widely expected that Biden will make it pass and therefore we do
not see any downside to gold at the moment," Natixis analyst
Bernard Dahdah said.
    The number of Americans filing first-time claims for
unemployment benefits remained elevated but posted an unexpected
fall last week.             
    Bullion, considered a hedge against inflation and currency
debasement, has risen over 23% this year, benefiting from
massive stimulus unleashed globally.
    Alarm about a highly infectious coronavirus variant prompted
a wave of travel bans, highlighting concerns over an economic
recovery after the pandemic.                         
    Silver        rose 2.5% to $25.74 an ounce. Platinum       
gained 1.5% at $1,016.55 and palladium        rose 0.5% to
$2,326.45.

 (Reporting by Shreyansi Singh in Bengaluru; editing by Diane
Craft and Richard Chang)
  
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