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PRECIOUS-Gold dips as vaccine hopes offset softer dollar, virus woes

    * Fresh restrictions in several U.S. states after virus
surge
    * Asian shares rally, dollar subdued
    * Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus:
tmsnrt.rs/3mvcUoa

 (Updates prices)
    By Eileen Soreng
    Nov 17 (Reuters) - Gold prices eased on Tuesday as market
optimism over a second possible COVID-19 vaccine countered a
subdued dollar and concerns over rising coronavirus cases
globally.  
    Spot gold        eased 0.1% to $1,886.83 per ounce by 0744
GMT, while U.S. gold futures        were down 0.1% to $1,885.40.
    "The optimism over a COVID-19 vaccine is dampening demand
for the precious metal," said FXTM market analyst Han Tan. 
    While a Democrat-driven agenda in the U.S. Senate may result
in larger fiscal stimulus and thereby boost gold, a
vaccine-fuelled U.S. economic recovery may re-energize the
dollar and push gold to sub-$1,850 levels, Tan added.
    Propping up bullion, the dollar index        was down 0.1%.
            
    Gold dropped as much as 1.3% on Monday after Moderna
         said its vaccine was 94.5% effective in preventing
COVID-19 based on interim data from a late-stage trial, becoming
the second U.S. drugmaker after Pfizer         to report results
exceeding expectations.             
    Meanwhile, Asian shares pushed into record territory on
vaccine optimism.            
    However, the monetary environment is still very
accommodative and may stay at current levels into spring 2021,
providing near-term support for gold, said Margaret Yang,
strategist at DailyFX.
    Gold, considered a hedge against inflation and currency
debasement, has gained over 24% this year, mainly benefiting
from global stimulus to cushion the effect of the pandemic.
    President-elect Joe Biden called on Congress to pass a new
coronavirus relief package, while new restrictions were placed
in several U.S. states to curb surging cases.             
            
    Federal Reserve Vice Chair Richard Clarida on Monday
acknowledged the new vaccine as a positive for economic recovery
and said that the central bank would apply an expansive view of
the labour market before deciding on any rate hikes.
            
    Silver        fell 0.7% to $24.57 per ounce. Platinum       
slipped 0.7% to $918.76, while palladium        eased 0.4% to
$2,322.76.

 (Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi
Aich and Devika Syamnath)
  
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