PRECIOUS-Gold gains as softer dollar, economic concerns bolster appeal

    * Spot gold up 0.6% for the week
    * Investors to eye risks stemming from U.S. elections -
    * Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus:

 (Updates prices)
    By Eileen Soreng
    Sept 18 (Reuters) - Gold prices rose on Friday en route to a
second straight weekly gain on a subdued dollar as weak U.S.
jobs data dented hopes of an economic recovery. 
    Spot gold        rose 0.6% to $1,953.34 per ounce by 0825
GMT, up 0.6% so far this week.
    U.S. gold futures        were 0.7% higher at $1,962.50.
    The dollar index        was on track for a weekly fall,
making gold more attractive for those holding other currencies.
    "Virus concerns are still weighing down on economic recovery
and when you look at a lot of economic data, it looks like it's
moderating but there is still tremendous damage," said Edward
Moya, a senior market analyst at broker OANDA. "There's still
going to be need for more support."
    The U.S. weekly jobless claims report showed nearly 30
million people were on unemployment benefits at the end of
August, laying bare the economic toll from the COVID-19
    Near-zero interest rates globally and demand for a hedge
against perceived inflation have helped gold gain nearly 29% so
far this year.
    Continuing the trend, the U.S. Federal Reserve on Wednesday
vowed to keep interest rates near zero for a long time.
    On Thursday, the Bank of England said it was considering
negative interest rates, while the Bank of Japan signalled
readiness to ramp up stimulus.                          
    With the focus now on the U.S. presidential election in
November, FXTM market analyst Han Tan said a protracted delay
over its outcome could reignite the safe-haven play and
potentially push gold to new record highs.
    On the physical front, Swiss exports of gold to the U.S. all
but halted in August while shipments to China and India rose,
data showed on Thursday.             
    Silver        rose 0.1% to $27.13 per ounce, while platinum
       was steady at $940.02 and palladium        was up 0.1% at

 (Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu
Sahu and Ramakrishnan M.)