PRECIOUS-Gold holds steady as focus turns to U.S. stimulus, election

    * Gold investors awaiting new market drivers -analyst
    * Gold has risen nearly 26% this year
    * Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus:
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 (Updates prices)
    By Brijesh Patel
    Oct 20 (Reuters) - Gold prices were stable on Tuesday,
hovering above $1,900, as investors awaited indications whether
a new U.S. coronavirus stimulus package will be forthcoming
before next month's presidential election.
    Spot gold        was steady at $1,904.26 an ounce at 1154
GMT. U.S. gold futures         eased 0.3% to $1,906.80.
    The dollar index        slipped 0.2% against its rivals,
lending support to gold by making the metal less expensive for
holders of other currencies.
    "Investors' focus is on the new aid package for the U.S.
economy, whether it will be successfully placed before the
election," said Commerzbank analyst Eugen Weinberg.
    "The U.S. election is itself very important. The market is
also (evaluating the) chances of each candidate and its impact
on monetary policy going forward."
    U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin "continued to narrow their
differences" on the stimulas package, Pelosi's spokesman Drew
Hammill said.             
    Gold, which has risen nearly 26% this year, tends to benefit
from widespread stimulus from central banks because the metal is
viewed as a hedge against inflation and currency debasement.
    "In the last few days there hasn't been much volatility on
bullion as investors are awaiting new market drivers,"
ActivTrades' chief analyst, Carlo Alberto De Casa, said in a
    "Only a clear climb above $1,930 would give new strength to
the price," he said, adding that, while the bull trend seems to
have paused, "it is definitely not yet dead".
    Meanwhile, France reported a massive jump in the number of
people hospitalised with COVID-19 and Ireland announced some of
Europe's toughest restrictions to combat the virus.             
    Among other precious metals, silver        edged 0.1% higher
to $24.51 an ounce, platinum        rose 0.3% to $859.10 and
palladium        was up 0.1% at $2,345.94.

 (Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru
Editing by Susan Fenton and David Goodman