PRECIOUS-Gold ticks higher on worries over rising COVID-19 cases

    July 13 (Reuters) - Gold prices edged higher on Monday,
holding above the key $1,800-per-ounce level, as worries over
surging coronavirus cases around the world kept the safe-haven
metal underpinned.
    * Spot gold        was up 0.1% at $1,800.71 per ounce by
0033 GMT. U.S. gold futures        rose 0.2% to $1,804.90.
    * More than 12.83 million people have been reported to be
infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 565,626​ have
died, according to a Reuters tally.             
    * Florida reported a record increase of more than 15,000 new
cases in 24 hours on Sunday, as the Trump administration renewed
its push for schools to reopen and anti-mask protests were
planned in Michigan and Missouri.             
    * U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday he was not
currently thinking about negotiating a "Phase 2" trade deal with
China as relations between Washington and Beijing sour over the
pandemic and other issues.             
    * Gold is used as a safe investment during times of
political and financial uncertainty.
    * Speculators increased their bullish positions in COMEX
gold and silver contracts in the week to July 7, the U.S.
Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said on Friday.
    * Asian shares got off to a firm start as investors wagered
the U.S. earnings season would see most companies beat forecasts
given expectations had been lowered so far by coronavirus
    * The dollar index        held steady against a basket of
major currencies.       
    * Physical gold sold at a premium in India last week for the
first time this year, driven by plunging imports and a near halt
in smuggling that offset the impact of high unemployment and a
rise in domestic prices across Asia that could deter buyers.
    * Palladium        gained 0.5% to $1,979.96 per ounce,
platinum        rose 1.3% to $824.80 and silver        climbed
0.5% to $18.75.

 (Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu