PRECIOUS-Gold jumps over 1% on U.S. stimulus bets

 (Updates prices)
    * Britain to begin Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine rollout this week
    * Seasonally strong period for gold -analyst
    * Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus:
    * in an external browser

    By Shreyansi Singh
    Dec 7 (Reuters) - Gold gained more than 1% to a two-week
high on Monday, bolstered by expectations of fresh fiscal
stimulus in the United States.
    Spot gold prices        were 1.3% higher at $1,860.49 per
ounce by 2:04 p.m. EST (1904 GMT), after rising to their highest
level since Nov. 23 at $1,868.25 earlier. U.S. gold futures
       settled up 1.4% at $1,866.
    "The stimulus plan has helped stabilize the gold market
because more money being pumped into the financial system is
inflationary," said Kitco Metals senior analyst Jim Wyckoff.
    U.S. lawmakers sought to hammer out an agreement on infusing
long-awaited relief through a $908 billion bill.             
    Bullion is considered a hedge against inflation that could
result from the large stimulus measures unleashed in 2020,
gaining over 22% so far this year.             
    Also on investors' radar, the United States imposed
sanctions and a travel ban on 14 Chinese officials over their
alleged role in Beijing's disqualification of elected opposition
legislators in Hong Kong.             
    "This is a seasonally strong period for gold prices and we
just went through a capitalization event, in which a lot of the
weaker hands in gold have been shaken out of the market," said
Daniel Ghali, commodity strategist at TD Securities. 
    Gold has recovered more than 5% since slumping to a
five-month low on Nov. 30, with November also marking bullion's
worst month in four years, pressured by hopes of a
vaccine-fuelled economic recovery.             
    Meanwhile, Britain was set to become the first country to
roll out the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine this week.
    On the technical front, the breach of the $1,850 resistance
level signals further gains for gold, analysts said.
    Platinum        was 2.1% lower at $1,031.92, having earlier
shed as much as 4.8%. 
    Silver        gained 1.5% to $24.53 per ounce and palladium
       fell 0.3% to $2,336.13.  

 (Reporting by Shreyansi Singh and Aaron Saldanha in Bengaluru
Editing by Mark Potter and Matthew Lewis)