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PRECIOUS-Gold gains as dollar dips, investors bet on stimulus

 (Adds comments, updates prices)
    * Vaccine optimism steers Asian equities to record highs  
    * Gold may retest support at $1,855 per ounce -technicals 
    * Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus:
open 
    * tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7 in an external browser

    By Nakul Iyer
    Nov 23 (Reuters) - Gold rose on Monday, supported by a
softer dollar and bets for further U.S. monetary stimulus to
revive the pandemic-hit economy outweighing pressure from
optimism over a possible COVID-19 vaccine rollout next month. 
    Spot gold        rose 0.2% to $1,874.30 per ounce by 0729
GMT and U.S. gold futures        fell 0.1% to $1,870.90.
    U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Friday reassured
markets that the Fed and Treasury had many tools left to support
the economy, after deciding to de-fund several Federal Reserve
lending programs by the end of the year.             
    "Ironically, the failure to deliver a fiscal package is
supportive for gold," said Michael McCarthy, chief strategist at
CMC Markets, noting there might be more reliance on Fed support
likely in the form of liquidity and lower interest rates as a
result.  
    Non-yielding gold is often seen as a hedge against inflation
that is likely to result from stimulus measures.
    Also lending support was a softer U.S. dollar, that lowered
the cost of purchasing it to other currency holders.         
    Gold's advance also came despite news that U.S. healthcare
workers could start getting COVID-19 inoculation shots within a
day or two of regulatory consent next month, helping to push
Asian equities to record highs.                        
    "The vaccine is not going to change the fundamentals of gold
in near term ... It is going to take a lot of time for vaccine
to penetrate into the global market," said Kunal Shah, head of
research at Nirmal Bang Commodities in Mumbai, India. 
    On the technical front, gold may retest support at $1,855
per ounce, a break below which could cause a fall to $1,841,
according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.         
    Silver        rose 0.2% to $24.19 an ounce. Platinum       
fell 0.2% to $943.66, while palladium        was 0.5% higher at
$2,338.02. 

 (Reporting by Nakul Iyer in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan
M and Uttaresh.V)
  
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