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PRECIOUS-Gold falls on hopes for vaccine, smooth Biden transition

 (Updates prices)
    * Gold's break below $1,840/oz points to further downside
-analyst
    * European shares set to gain on vaccine optimism
    * Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus:
open
    * tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7 in an external browser

    By Nakul Iyer
    Nov 24 (Reuters) - Gold hit a four-month low on Tuesday as
investors deserted the safe-haven metal following a U.S. federal
agency's transition approval for Joe Biden and growing prospects
for the swift release of an inexpensive COVID-19 vaccine. 
    Spot gold        fell 0.2% to $1,831.90 per ounce by 717
GMT, having earlier slid to its lowest since July 21 at
$1,820.45. It slumped as much as 2.2% on Monday. 
    U.S. gold futures        were down 0.6% to $1,826.30.
    "Investors are clearly rallying around the narrative of a
vaccine-fuelled economic reopening, to the point they're willing
to look past the economic realities and potential downside risks
that may lie ahead," said FXTM market analyst Han Tan.
    European stock futures rose, extending optimism in Asian
equities spurred by news AstraZeneca's         COVID-19 vaccine
could be up to 90% effective.                           
    In another boost to risk sentiment, U.S. president-elect
Biden received the transition go-ahead on Monday. On Twitter,
President Donald Trump said he was recommending that his team
"do what needs to be done with regard to initial protocols".
                         
     "The fact that we have a smoother transition between
President-elect Biden and Trump is just another reason to think
that the recovery as it is currently playing out has one less
risk to it," said IG Markets analyst Kyle Rodda.
    The breakdown of support around $1,840 suggests further
downside into the $1,700s before buyers return, he added. 
    But analysts noted the likely appointment of former Federal
Reserve chair Janet Yellen as U.S. Treasury Secretary could
boost bets for further fiscal and monetary stimulus and benefit
bullion.                          
    Gold is considered a hedge against inflation and currency
debasement, likely to result from the unprecedented stimulus
unleashed globally this year to ease the pandemic's economic
blow.       
    Silver        fell 0.4% to $23.48 an ounce. Platinum       
rose 0.9% to $934.73, while palladium        dropped 0.7% to
$2,338.36.

 (Reporting by Nakul Iyer in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich
and Subhranshu Sahu)
  

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