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Gold gains on softer dollar, Delta variant's threat to recovery

(Reuters) - Gold prices rose on Monday after the U.S. dollar retreated from multi-month highs, while investor concerns that the Delta coronavirus variant could dampen the pace of global economic recovery also lifted bullion’s safe-haven appeal.

FILE PHOTO: A worker places gold bullion on display at Hatton Garden Metals precious metal dealers in London, Britain July 21, 2015. REUTERS/Neil Hall

Spot gold rose 0.2% to $1,785.00 per ounce by 0657 GMT, while U.S. gold futures were up 0.2% at $1,786.50.

The dollar index was down 0.1%, easing off the 9-1/2-month high hit last week, lifting gold’s allure for holders of other currencies. [USD/]

“The Delta variant is throwing sort of a spanner into the works on how likely and how soon we could see a tapering announcement,” ING analyst Warren Patterson said.

Dallas Federal Reserve President Robert Kaplan, a strong supporter for tapering stimulus, said on Friday he might need to adjust that view if the Delta variant slows economic growth materially.

In the clearest sign yet of the impact of the Delta variant on the Fed’s plans, COVID-19 restrictions have prompted the U.S. central bank to schedule its annual economic symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming on Aug. 27 virtually and not in person as planned.

Chair Jerome Powell is expected to give a speech at the event on the economic outlook.

“I don’t think Powell will give a clear timeline for stimulus withdrawals. So the dollar will fall and gold could rise beyond $1,800,” said Jigar Trivedi, commodities analyst at Mumbai-based broker Anand Rathi Shares.

Highlighting the toll from the recent surge in infections, Japan’s factory activity growth slowed in August, while that of the services sector shrank at the fastest pace since May last year.

Spot gold may test a resistance at $1,795, having stabilized around a support at $1,775, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.

Silver rose 1% to $23.23, while platinum firmed 1.5% to $1,010.53.

Palladium rose 1.6% to $2,311.32, bouncing off a more than five-month low hit earlier.

Reporting by Eileen Soreng and Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Rashmi Aich

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