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PRECIOUS-Gold hits 1-week high ahead of key U.S presidential debate

    * Dollar index        slips 0.2%
    * Market awaits Trump- Biden debate at 2100 ET (0100 GMT) 
    * Platinum undervalued and has room for further upside-
analyst
    * Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus:
here

 (Recasts, adds comments, updates prices)
    By Nakul Iyer
    Sept 29 (Reuters) - Gold steadied on Tuesday, having earlier
its highest in almost a week as the dollar retreated, while
investors waited for the first U.S. presidential debate and
further developments on a new U.S. coronavirus relief bill.
    Having risen as high as $1,889.86, spot gold        was
little changed at $1,880.11 per ounce by 1239 GMT, while U.S.
gold futures        rose 0.4% to $1,889.50 per ounce.
     A slight inflow into gold-backed ETF holdings supports the
view that gold is again back in demand as a safe haven after the
fall from the highs to last week's low, said Quantitative
Commodity Research analyst Peter Fertig.          
    While a weaker dollar and continued monetary stimulus could
push gold above $1,900 again, whether it can test new highs this
year will depend on political and economic developments in the
U.S. and if that triggers safe-haven demand, he added.  
     The dollar was down 0.2% against a basket of other major
currencies        ahead of the 90-minute televised debate
between President Donald Trump and democratic rival, Joe Biden
at 2100 ET (0100 GMT).       
    "The possibility of Biden doing well might exert upward
pressure on gold because it might prompt the dollar to
sell-off," said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC
Markets UK. 
   "If Biden does well, its a dollar negative simply because he
is less business friendly." 
     Investors are also keeping close tabs on the prospect for a
fiscal coronavirus package with Democratic lawmakers in U.S.
House of Representatives unveiling a $2.2 trillion relief bill,
although no date was given for a vote on the proposal.
             
      Elsewhere, silver        rose 0.3% to $23.78 per ounce,
platinum        rose 0.1% to $880.17, while palladium       
gained 0.8% to $2,273.12. 
    Platinum is undervalued and there's further room to rise
even versus gold with a price differential of roughly $1,000, an
unexpected supply deficit and record investment demand likely,
Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch said.

 (Reporting by Nakul Iyer in Bengaluru; Editing by Kirsten
Donovan and Louise Heavens)
  
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