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PRECIOUS-Gold falls 1% as equities extend rally on vaccine optimism

 (Updates prices)
    * Pfizer, J&J make progress with trials, regulatory
approvals
    * Trump administration proposed $916 bln aid package
    * Dovish Fed could re-ignite gold rally- analyst
    * Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus:
tmsnrt.rs/3mvcUoa

    By Asha Sistla
    Dec 9 (Reuters) - Gold slid 1% on Wednesday, falling back
from the previous session's two-week peak as optimism over
COVID-19 vaccine developments led investors to opt for riskier
assets such as equities. 
    Spot gold        was down 0.7% at $1,857.70 per ounce by
1216 GMT, having earlier fallen as low as $1,851.31. On Tuesday
it hit its highest since Nov. 23 at $1,875.07. 
    U.S. gold futures        slipped 0.8% to $1,859.40. 
    "The higher risk appetite seems to be gaining the upper hand
again, and coupled with the vaccine news, it seems to be
weighing on gold prices," said Commerzbank analyst Daniel
Briesemann.
    While a fresh attempt in the United States to agree on a new
fiscal support package supported gold on Tuesday as a hedge
against potential inflation, on Wednesday the news acted chiefly
as an additional trigger for risk sentiment.
    Global equities reached record highs on Wednesday, with the
healthcare sector benefiting from positive coronavirus vaccine
news.                       
    After Britain on Tuesday became the first Western nation to
start a mass vaccination drive, Pfizer         and Johnson &
Johnson         made further progress with trials and regulatory
approvals respectively.                                       
    On the stimulus front, U.S. President Donald Trump's
administration proposed a $916 billion aid package.
Congressional lawmakers were still working on resolving
differences on the inclusion of business liability protections
and state and local government aid.                           
    Investors are also looking forward to the U.S. Federal
Reserve's two-day policy meeting next week for clues on the
direction of monetary policy. 
    "A dovish FOMC, particularly in the scenario where they look
to cap rates in the longer end of the U.S. yield curve, should
relight the gold rally," said Jeffrey Halley, a senior market
analyst at OANDA. 
    Silver        slipped 1.6% to $24.17, while platinum       
fell 0.6% to $1,016.21 and palladium        was down 0.2% to
$2,305.71. 

 (Reporting by Asha Sistla and Nakul Iyer in Bengaluru; Editing
by Louise Heavens and Jan Harvey)
  
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