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PRECIOUS-Gold at 1-week low as hopes rise of more rapid economic recovery

    * U.S. weekly initial jobless claim data due 1330 GMT 
    * GRAPHIC: Tracking the vaccine race tmsnrt.rs/3nGrJoP
    * Graphic tracking world spread of coronavirus: tmsnrt.rs/3mvcUoa

 (Recasts, adds comments, updates prices)
    By Eileen Soreng
    Nov 19 (Reuters) - Gold retreated to a one-week low on
Thursday as encouraging developments relating to COVID-19
vaccines have raised hopes of a more rapid recovery in the
global economy, even as new coronavirus cases continued to rise.
    Spot gold        fell 0.4% to $1,863.12 per ounce by 0759
GMT, having earlier hit its lowest since Nov.11, at $1,857.16,
putting it on course for a second straight weekly decline. 
    U.S. gold futures         slipped 0.6% to $1,862.30.
    "Post the U.S. election, there is confidence in the global
economy and gold's safe-haven appeal has been easing. Secondly,
pandemic-related uncertainty is going to be decreasing because
we're all hoping for the vaccine in the market soon," said
Hareesh V, head of commodity research at Geojit Financial
Services. 
    COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer Inc         and Moderna Inc
         could be ready for U.S. authorisation within weeks,
setting the stage for inoculation to begin as soon as this year,
U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said on
Wednesday.              
    Also weighing on gold, the dollar index        was up 0.2%.
      
    Gold is still up about 23% this year, boosted by its appeal
as a hedge against likely inflation and currency debasement that
may follow the unprecedented stimulus measures globally. 
    "In the short-term, (gold) prices may continue to drift
lower towards $1,800. We expect the next leg of the bull market
to resume next month or January 2021," said Vincent Tie, sales
manager at Silver Bullion. 
    Increased coronavirus-driven restrictions in the United
States, where the death toll crossed 250,000, caused Asian
equities to fall from record highs, while bonds were buoyed by
growing bets that the U.S. Federal Reserve may fill in the gap
as uncertainties persist over a fiscal relief bill.             
            
    Investors are waiting for U.S. jobs data at 1330 GMT for
evidence on the state of the economy.  
    Silver        fell 1% to $24.08 per ounce. Platinum       
dipped 0.6% to $936.54, while palladium        eased 0.4% to 
$2,319.10. 

 (Reporting by Eileen Soreng, Diptendu Lahiri and Asha Sistla in
Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M. and Jane Merriman)
  
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