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PRECIOUS-Gold dips as coronavirus treatment hopes boost risk appetite

    * Asian shares rise for second straight day
    * Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus:
open
tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7 in an external browser

 (Updates prices)
    By Brijesh Patel
    Aug 24 (Reuters) - Gold prices fell on Monday as risk
sentiment improved after the U.S. drug regulator authorised the
use of blood plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients as a
treatment option, while the dollar held firm.
    Spot gold        was down 0.4% at $1,932.48 per ounce by
0654 GMT after hitting a one-week low of $1,910.99 on Friday.
U.S. gold futures        fell 0.2% to $1,942.60.
    "Weighing a little bit on immediate sentiment is virus
positive news that has helped stocks and other risk assets go
higher today," said Stephen Innes, chief market strategist at
financial services firm AxiCorp, adding that gold was in
consolidation ahead of Jackson Hole.
    Asian stocks extended gains after the U.S. Food & Drug
Administration authorised the use of blood plasma from patients
who have recovered from COVID-19 as a treatment for the disease.
                        
    Investors are now waiting for U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman
Jerome Powell's speech at Jackson Hole on Thursday for any hints
about how aggressively the central bank will try to manage the
long-term recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.            
    "The U.S. central bank should reiterate its pledge for
ultra-low rates, providing some support for gold," Avtar Sandu,
a senior commodities manager at Phillip Futures, said in a note.
    "The central bank may be expected to signal greater
tolerance for above-target inflation keeping real interest rates
low."
    Lower U.S. interest rates put pressure on the dollar and
bond yields, increasing the appeal of non-yielding bullion.
    Central banks around the world have rolled out massive
stimulus measures to mitigate the economic damage caused by the
virus outbreak, which has infected more than 23.31 million
people worldwide so far.    
    The dollar index       , meanwhile, held steady against a
basket of major currencies after climbing to a more than
one-week high in the previous session.       
    Silver        dropped 1.6% to $26.26 per ounce, platinum
       slipped 0.5% to $913.61 and palladium        fell 1.1% to
$2,158.65.

 (Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu
Sahu, Shailesh Kuber and Amy Caren Daniel)
  
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