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PRECIOUS-Gold dips on modest progress against coronavirus

 (Updates prices)
    * U.S. gold futures extend lead over London spot prices
    * Palladium, platinum and silver all in positive territory

    By Brijesh Patel
    April 7 (Reuters) - Gold prices fell on Tuesday, retreating
from a one-month high hit earlier in the session as risk
sentiment improved on wider market optimism after tentative
signs of progress against coronavirus outbreaks in some
countries.
     Spot gold        lost as much as 1% and was 0.4% down at
$1,654.83 an ounce by 1212 GMT, having touched a one-month high
of $1,671.40. 
    "Risk appetite is back in the markets as new infections are
declining. That's weighing on gold prices. Also higher yields
are negative for gold," said Quantitative Commodity Research
analyst Peter Fertig.
    "However, some investors fear that monetary policy would
lead to inflation. For them, buying gold at these levels remains
attractive."
    Cautious optimism around a slowdown in reported cases of the
new coronavirus in some countries lifted European shares for a
second day, even as companies continued to take steps to shore
up cash after lockdowns crushed global demand.      
    More than 1.32 million people worldwide have been reported
as infected by the virus and 74,087 have died. British Prime
Minister Boris Johnson was taken into intensive care on Monday
after his symptoms worsened.             
    The pandemic has rattled financial markets over the course
of the past quarter and prompted nations to extend lockdowns to
curtail its spread.
    Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, poised to announce a
state of emergency for Tokyo and six other prefectures, unveiled
plans for a stimulus package to support the economy.
            
    "Gold investors are revelling in the level of central bank
stimulus and fiscal spending, especially when it raises
government debt levels," said Stephen Innes, chief market
strategist at financial services firm AxiCorp.
    Indicative of sentiment, the holdings of the world's largest
gold-backed exchange-traded fund, SPDR Gold Trust      , rose
0.5% to 984.26 tonnes on Monday - its highest in more than three
years.
    U.S. gold futures        rose 0.6% to $1,704.10, extending a
lead over London spot prices and signalling market concern that
refinery closures and logistics constraints could hamper bullion
shipments to the United States to meet contract requirements.
    The increase came despite measures from the CME Group's
        Comex Exchange to ease supply concerns and assurances
from the London Bullion Market Association.             
    Palladium        was 1.3% higher at $2,182.58 an ounce after
rising more than 3% in early trading. Platinum        was up
0.6% at $739.89 and silver        jumped 1.3% to $15.19 after
touching a more than three-week high.
    

 (Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru
Editing by Nick Macfie and David Goodman)
  
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