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PRECIOUS-Gold eases as dollar strength, delay in U.S. stimulus weigh

    Oct 12 (Reuters) - Gold prices edged lower on Monday, after
hitting a three-week high earlier in the session, as the dollar
firmed and talks over a new U.S. stimulus package ran into
resistance. 
    
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold        fell 0.2% to $1,925.29 per ounce by 0046
GMT, after hitting its highest level since Sept. 21 at $1,932.96
earlier in the session.
    * U.S. gold futures        were up 0.3% at $1,932.70.
    * The dollar index        was up 0.1% against rivals, making
gold more expensive for holders of other currencies.       
    * The Trump administration on Sunday called on Congress to
pass a stripped-down coronavirus relief bill using leftover
funds from an expired small business loan program as
negotiations on a broader package ran into resistance.
            
    * U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday he had fully
recovered from COVID-19 and was not an infection risk for
others.             
    * Britain will explore every avenue for a trade deal with
the European Union but progress to bridge significant gaps needs
to be made in the coming days, British Prime Minister Boris
Johnson told French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday.
            
    * Speculators increased their bullish positions in COMEX
gold and cut them in silver contracts in the week to Oct. 6, the
U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said on Friday.
            
    * Physical gold was sold at a premium in India last week for
the first time since mid-August as jewellers stocked up, hoping
key festivals would bring customers back to stores.             
    * Silver        eased 0.4% to $25.02 per ounce, platinum
       fell 1% to $876.80, and palladium        was down 0.2% to
$2,435.35. 

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