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PRECIOUS-Gold holds $1,900 level on Trump COVID news, set for best week in 8

    * Gold up 2.2% this week
    * President Trump "not incapacitated" - White House
    * U.S. job growth slowed more than expected in September
    * Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus:
here

 (Updates prices)
    By Sumita Layek
    Oct 2 (Reuters) - Gold clung to the $1,900 level in choppy
trading on Friday, with gains capped by a firm dollar, but
bullion remained headed for its biggest weekly rise in eight
weeks as U.S. President Donald Trump's COVID-19 positive test
hurt risk sentiment.
    Spot gold        eased 0.2% to $1,900.40 an ounce by 1:42
p.m. EDT (1742 GMT). Prices were set to rise 2.2% this week,
heading for the biggest weekly percentage rise since early
August.
    U.S. gold futures        settled down 0.5% at $1,907.60.
    "The election is 33 days away, there's so much unknown --
will it be a mild case, how will he react to it? So we have
flight to safety keeping gold afloat," said Bob Haberkorn,
senior market strategist at RJO Futures.
    "Traders seem cautious because they're concerned about
equity markets selling off."     
    Gold had risen to an over one-week high after Trump said in
a tweet that he and his wife Melania had tested positive for the
coronavirus, hammering Wall Street.             
    However the White House reassured Americans that the
President was "not incapacitated".             
    Investors also took stock of the last monthly employment
report before the Nov. 3 presidential election, which showed
U.S. job growth slowed more than expected in September.
                        
    "Gold is likely to remain range-bound in the short term. The
market will wait through the weekend and look for news,"  said
Tai Wong, head of base and precious metals derivatives trading
at BMO.
    The dollar        too benefited from safe-haven inflows,
limiting gold's upside.       
    Focus was also on an elusive U.S. coronavirus relief aid
deal.             
    Gold can move back up "if the U.S. congress passes a
stimulus bill, that seems to be what this market is hanging on
to for now," Haberkorn added.
    Elsewhere, silver        eased 0.6% to $23.73 an ounce,
platinum        dropped 2% to $878.47 and palladium        was
down 0.1% to $2,313.68.

 (Reporting by Sumita Layek and Arpan Varghese in Bengaluru;
Editing by David Gregorio)
  
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