PRECIOUS-Gold set for worst month since 2016 on vaccine optimism

 (Adds details, updates prices)
    * Gold set for a 5.3% monthly decline
    * Silver on track to fall 4.6% for the month 
    * Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus:
    * in an external browser

    By Shreyansi Singh
    Nov 30 (Reuters) - Gold slipped to a five-month low on
Monday and was on track for its worst month in four years as
optimism over a swift vaccine-fuelled economic recovery dented
allure for safe havens.
    Spot gold        was down 0.5% at $1,779.05 per ounce by
1:46 p.m. EST (1846 GMT), having earlier hit its lowest level
since July 2 at $1,764.29. It has shed 5.3% so far this month.
    U.S. gold futures        settled down 0.4% at $1,780.90 per
    "They (investors) are abandoning gold because they feel that
the vaccine is going to open up the markets at some point and it
looks like the transition is going to be orderly," said George
Gero, managing director at RBC Wealth Management.             
    "It is going to be a long road ahead for gold because there
does not seem to be any need for the haven at this time."
    Gold's slide came despite a subdued dollar, which hit its
lowest level in two and a half years.                    
    The prospect of a vaccine-led economic recovery next year
has put world shares on track for a record-breaking month, while
Bitcoin hit a record high as its 2020 rally powered on.
    Propping up hopes for more government action to aid the
economy, President-elect Joe Biden named former Federal Reserve
Chair Janet Yellen, seen as a force for more fiscal action, as
nominee for Treasury secretary.             
    Investors are now eyeing a congressional testimony by U.S.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell this week.             
    "Traders and investors are exhibiting little risk aversion
recently, amid no geopolitical hotspots at present, COVID-19
vaccine hopes and an apparent smoother transition of U.S.
presidential duties seen," Kitco Metals senior analyst Jim
Wyckoff said in a note.
    "That's all bearish for the safe-haven metals." 
    Silver        fell 0.6% to $22.55 an ounce, on track for a
4.6% fall on a monthly basis.
    Platinum        rose 0.1% to $964.08, while palladium       
slipped 1.7% to $2,383.26. 

 (Reporting by Shreyansi Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Pravin
Char and Steve Orlofsky)