(Adds comments, updates prices) * California considers lockdown at COVID-19 'tipping point' * Asian equities gain on vaccine prospects * Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus: tmsnrt.rs/3mvcUoa By Nakul Iyer Dec 1 (Reuters) - Gold prices gained on Tuesday after a steep sell-off to near five-month lows in the previous session renewed interest in the safe-haven metal with rising COVID-19 cases clouding the economic outlook. Spot gold rose 0.5% to $1,785.10 per ounce by 0625 GMT. U.S. gold futures gained 0.4% to $1,788.50. The metal clocked its worst monthly fall in four years on Monday, slipping to $1,764.29 per ounce, the lowest level since July 2. "Gold prices have closed above important support levels of around $1,760, and since those levels have held, we could see a further bounce in the near term," Harshal Barot, a senior research consultant for South Asia at Metals Focus, said, adding that virus resurgence has also supported bullion. "Given that there are expectations for further liquidity in global markets in the form of fiscal or monetary policy, gold could potentially revive its positive correlation with equities." Asian equities gained on growing prospects for a COVID-19 vaccine with some Americans likely to receive vaccinations before Christmas. But COVID-19 cases topped 1.1 million in the United States last week, with California weighing fresh curbs such as stay-at-home orders, dimming the economic outlook. Investor focus now turns to Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell's testimony before the Senate Banking Committee later in the day, which will offer clues on the direction of monetary policy. Non-yielding gold is seen as a hedge against inflation likely to result from large stimulus measures. "Gold has been a crowded trade for quite a while, so we're seeing a realignment of asset allocation away from gold and towards more risky assets as the (market) sentiment is improved," said Michael Langford, executive director at corporate advisory and consultancy firm AirGuide. "That being said, those flows can quickly reverse again as the economic situation becomes more apparent." Silver gained 1.1% to $22.85 an ounce, while platinum rose 1.7% to $981.37 and palladium was up 0.6% at $2,387.70. (Reporting by Nakul Iyer in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M. and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)
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