PRECIOUS-Gold at 4-mth low as strong U.S. data, vaccine trials boost recovery hopes

 (Updates prices)
    * U.S. manufacturing, services activity expanded rapidly in
    * AstraZeneca says COVID-19 vaccine can be 90% effective
    * Tailwinds behind gold have not yet fully
    * Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus:
    * in an external browser

    By Shreyansi Singh
    Nov 23 (Reuters) - Gold fell more than 2% to its lowest
level in four month on Monday as better-than-expected U.S.
business activity data and promising COVID-19 vaccine trials
boosted hopes for a swifter economic recovery.
    Spot gold        dipped 1.7% to $1,838.71 per ounce by 01:50
p.m. EST (1850 GMT), after falling as much as 2.2% to its lowest
since July 21 at $1,830.19. U.S. gold futures        settled
down 1.9% at $1,837.80.
    "Gold broke below the key $1,850 level after an unbelievably
strong U.S. PMI release just dampened the need for stimulus. No
one was expecting such strong readings in both services and
manufacturing," said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at
    Data on Monday showed U.S. business activity in November
expanded at its fastest rate in more than five years, boosting
optimism about the health of the U.S. economy among investors.
    The upbeat data came after Britain's AstraZeneca        
said its vaccine could be around 90% effective without any
serious side effects.                          
    "Investors are rotating back to stocks because of the fact
that there is little less uncertainty now than there was," said
Jeffrey Sica, founder of Circle Squared Alternative Investments.
    "The data that came out today makes it more likely that we
will see a recovery (sooner) than originally anticipated."
    Further denting bullion's appeal, the dollar        rose
against rivals.       
    Gold has risen more than 21% this year, benefiting from its
attraction as a safe haven against inflation and currency
    "While we do expect gold to go onto the defensive when the
global economies start to show sustainable recoveries, the
tailwinds behind the market have not yet been fully dissipated,"
 StoneX analyst Rhona O'Connell said in a note.   
    Silver        fell 2.4% to $23.56 an ounce, platinum       
dipped 2.2% to $925.24, while palladium        rose 1.3% to

 (Reporting by Shreyansi Singh and Sumita Layek in Bengaluru;
Editing by Jane Merriman and Richard Chang)


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