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PRECIOUS-Gold eases as vaccine optimism counters rising virus cases

    * Virus surge prompts restrictions in Europe, U.S.
    * Global equities at record high, dollar subdued
    * Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus:
tmsnrt.rs/3mvcUoa

 (Updates prices)
    By Asha Sistla
    Nov 17 (Reuters) - Gold inched lower on Tuesday as optimism
over an effective COVID-19 vaccine offset concerns facing its
eventual rollout, a subdued dollar and bets for further monetary
support as infections surged in Europe and the United States.
    Spot gold        fell 0.1% to $1,887.40 per ounce by 1156
GMT, but held in a tight $9 range. U.S. gold futures       
eased 0.1% to $1,886.20.
    "Gold is mirroring the reaction of really everybody watching
the evolution of the vaccines," and the positive news is clearly
keeping a cap on the gold market, said Robin Bhar, an
independent analyst.  
    "But it's still a long way to go" and long term factors,
including likely inflation down the road, continue to be
supportive for gold, Bhar added.
    Also stemming bullion's downside, the dollar index       
was down 0.3%.             
    Gold shed as much as 1.3% on Monday after Moderna         
said its vaccine was 94.5% effective in preventing COVID-19 in a
late-stage trial, becoming the second U.S. drugmaker after
Pfizer         to report results exceeding expectations.
            
    The vaccine news continued to buoy risk sentiment, although
the rally stalled in European shares as focus turned to
increasing coronavirus-led restrictions in Europe.      
           
    Gold, considered a hedge against inflation and currency
debasement, has gained over 24% this year, mainly benefiting
from global stimulus and near-zero interest rates to cushion the
effect of the pandemic.                          
    U.S. Federal Reserve Vice Chair Richard Clarida on Monday
acknowledged the new vaccine as a positive for economic recovery
and said that the Fed would apply an expansive view of the
labour market before deciding on any rate hikes.             
    Silver        fell 0.6% to $24.60 per ounce. Platinum       
slipped 0.2% to $923.45, while palladium        shed 0.4% to
$2,322.75.
    "Strong car sales in China, a likely vaccine and recovering
economic activity should keep the palladium market tight once
again in 2021, lifting prices to $2,600/oz," UBS analysts said
in a note.

 (Reporting by Asha Sistla in Bengaluru, additional reporting by
Arpan Varghese; editing by Louise Heavens and Alexandra Hudson)
  
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