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PRECIOUS-Gold jumps more than 2% as dollar sags

 (Updates prices)
    * Dollar slips to multi-year lows
    * Platinum hits highest level since August 2016 
    * Silver hits over three-month peak
    * Silver set to shine in 2021             
    * Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus:
tmsnrt.rs/3mvcUoa

    By Shreyansi Singh
    Jan 4 (Reuters) - Gold prices rose more than 2% on Monday to
their highest level in nearly two months, bolstered by the
dollar's slide ahead of runoff elections for both U.S. Senate
seats from Georgia.
    Spot gold        was up 2.4% at $1,943.13 an ounce by 2 p.m.
EST (1900 GMT). The session high of $1,944.11 was its highest
mark since Nov. 9. 
    U.S. gold futures        settled up 2.7% at $1,946.60.
    "There is the likelihood that we will see significant
stimulus, which will lead to further declines in the dollar,"
said Jeffrey Sica, founder of Circle Squared Alternative
Investments.
    The dollar index        slid to a 2-1/2 year low, making
bullion cheaper for holders of other currencies.       
    Investors were watching Tuesday's run-off elections in
Georgia, which will decide which party controls the U.S. Senate.
            
    "The Senate election this week could turn out to be a major
disruptive event so gold is rallying on that," Sica added.
    If President-elect Joe Biden's Democrats gain control of
both houses of the U.S. Congress, his administration would find
it easier to push policies such as rewriting the tax code to
boosting stimulus and infrastructure spending.             
    Many investors view non-yielding bullion as a hedge against
inflation and currency debasement that they fear could result
from large stimulus measures.             
    Tougher lockdown restrictions are expected in Britain and
Japan, as COVID-19 cases mount.                                
    The coronavirus variant in South Africa is likely to have an
impact on precious metals prices, said StoneX analyst Rhona
O'Connell. 
    "The ban on flights out of South Africa is going to hit
precious metals exports - certainly gold, platinum and palladium
... which are transported by air, and the majority of that is on
passenger flights," she said.                          
    Platinum        eased 0.4% to $1,063.87 after hitting its
highest level since August 2016 at $1,127.82.
    Silver        gained 3.1% to $27.17 an ounce, touching its
highest price since Sept. 15, 2020, earlier, while palladium
       dipped by 3.1% to $2,372.92.

 (Reporting by Shreyansi Singh and Asha Sista in Bengaluru
Editing by David Gregorio and Matthew Lewis)
  
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