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PRECIOUS-Gold falls on stronger dollar, economic rebound hopes

    * Dollar index gains 0.2%
    * Gold hits over one-week low
    * GRAPHIC: Tracking the vaccine race tmsnrt.rs/3nGrJoP
    * Graphic tracking world spread of coronavirus: tmsnrt.rs/3mvcUoa

 (Updates prices)
    By Sumita Layek
    Nov 19 (Reuters) - Gold slipped as much as 1% on Thursday as
the dollar edged higher and progress in COVID-19 vaccine
development boosted hopes of a faster economic rebound and
tempered bets for an immediate U.S. coronavirus relief package. 
    Spot gold        was down 0.4% to $1,863.81 per ounce at
01:49 p.m. EST (1849 GMT), after hitting its lowest since Nov. 9
at $1,851.83. U.S. gold futures        settled 0.7% lower at
$1,861.50.
    A stronger dollar and uncertainty over further economic
stimulus are weighing on gold, said Jeffrey Sica, founder of
Circle Squared Alternative Investments. 
    "Though there's an anticipation for more (stimulus), some
people are electing to take profits until there's more clarity."
    The dollar       , a rival safe haven, rose 0.2% against a
basket of major currencies, as coronavirus cases surged
globally.                    
    Gold tends to benefit from economic stimulus since it's
considered a hedge against inflation and the currency debasement
it can trigger.
    Optimism over progress in the development of coronavirus
vaccines, which could be ready for U.S. authorisation within
weeks, has also dented bullion's appeal.             
    "(Vaccines) removed some of the longer-term uncertainty when
it comes to the virus. So although there are concerns about the
short-term implications of the spike, longer term, people are a
lot more optimistic, which is probably why we've seen somewhat
of a pullback in gold," Sica said.
    An unexpected rise in new U.S. jobless claims also didn't
help gold.                     
    "We're having this clash of fear over the present COVID-19
conditions, and then we've the hope of the vaccines coming in a
few months, so that's kind of tugging the markets back and
forth," Kitco Metals senior analyst Jim Wyckoff said.
    "Gold traders are now focusing on the next few months, with
the dark winter amid the pandemic that could impact consumer
demand for gold."
    Silver        dipped 1.2% to $24.02 per ounce. Platinum
       was steady at $942.78, while palladium        eased 0.2%
to $2,325.15.

 (Reporting by Sumita Layek in Bengaluru; Editing by Paul Simao
and Mark Potter)
  
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