* Specs raise gold bullish positions in week ended June 23 - CFTC * SPDR Gold Trust holdings rose 0.3% on Friday * Spot gold set to break resistance at $1,778/oz - technicals (Adds comment, updates prices) By Brijesh Patel June 29 (Reuters) - Gold prices rose on Monday as worries over a surge in COVID-19 infections globally dented optimism about a swift economic rebound, driving investors toward the safe-haven metal. Spot gold was 0.1% higher at $1,772.30 per ounce by 0644 GMT. Prices were $6.76 shy of a near eight-year high of $1,779.06, hit last week. U.S. gold futures rose 0.3% to $1,786 per ounce. "Certainly the safe-haven buying is coming through fairly strong, with the fresh outbreak of coronavirus in the U.S., in particular, really driving that investor appetite at the moment," said ANZ analyst Daniel Hynes. California ordered some bars to close on Sunday, following similar moves in Texas and Florida, as cases nationwide soar to record levels each day. Washington state and the city of San Francisco have paused re-opening plans. The relentless spread of the coronavirus intensified investor fears about a delay in global economic recovery and weighed on risk appetite, driving inflows into safe-haven assets. The outlook for a global economic recovery over the past month has worsened or at best stayed about the same, according to a firm majority of economists in Reuters polls. "With COVID-19 cases rising in the U.S., real rates well into negative territory and stimulus ongoing, the environment remains conducive to a higher gold price," MKS PAMP said in a note. Reflecting increased investor interest in gold, holdings of SPDR Gold Trust rose 0.3% on Friday, while speculators increased their bullish positions in COMEX gold and silver contracts in the week to June 23. On the technical side, spot gold was poised to break a resistance at $1,778 per ounce and rise to $1,789, said Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao. Elsewhere, palladium gained 0.7% to $1,873.70 per ounce, while platinum rose 1.8% to $805.57 and silver climbed 0.6% to $17.85. (Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)
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