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PRECIOUS-Gold rebounds off 5-month low as virus spurt threatens economic recovery

 (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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