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PRECIOUS-Gold gains on dollar slide, hopes for U.S. stimulus

    * Platinum hits more than one-week high of $908.50/oz
    * U.S. weekly initial jobless claims data due at 1230 GMT
    * Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus:
here

 (Updates prices)
    By Eileen Soreng
    Oct 1 (Reuters) - Gold rose on Thursday, as an easing dollar
and signs of progress in talks for fresh U.S. stimulus measures
bolstered the metal's appeal. 
    Spot gold        rose 0.7% to $1,898.79 per ounce by 0707
GMT, starting October on a positive note after recording its
biggest monthly drop since late November 2016 in September.     
    U.S. gold futures        were 0.3% at $1,902.00 per ounce.
    "There's a bit of relief that the dollar rally has for the
most part ended and it seems many investors are more focused on
the headwinds ahead of the global economic recovery," said
Edward Moya, a senior market analyst at OANDA in New York.
    The dollar index        slipped 0.2% against its rivals to
hover near a one-week low, making gold less expensive for
investors who hold other currencies.       
    On Wednesday, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said
talks with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi "made a lot of progress"
on the long-awaited COVID-19 relief legislation.             
            
    Governments and central banks worldwide have rolled out
unparalleled stimulus measures to revive pandemic-hit economies,
helping gold rise more than 25% this year, thanks to its role as
a hedge against inflation and currency debasement.
    Market participants are now waiting for the U.S. initial
jobless claims data due later in the day and the non-farm
payrolls report on Friday for clues about the pace of recovery
in the world's largest economy.
    If U.S. jobs data comes at least in line with expectations
and as long as the wage inflation number is strong, that maybe
gold negative, said DailyFx currency strategist Ilya Spivak.
    Among other precious metals, silver        rose 2.4% to
$23.76 per ounce. Platinum        hit a more than one-week high 
of $908.50 per ounce and was last up 1.9% at $905.04, while
palladium        gained 0.8% to $2,323.96. 

 (Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru, Editing by Subhranshu
Sahu and Rashmi Aich)
  
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