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PRECIOUS-Gold jumps on U.S. stimulus expectations, easing dollar

    * Gold hits near two-week high
    * Stocks jump, dollar index slips 0.4%
    * Trump could return to White House on Monday
    * Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus:
here

 (Updates prices)
    By Arundhati Sarkar
    Oct 5 (Reuters) - Gold jumped 1% on Monday on optimism
around a U.S. stimulus bill and a weakened dollar, despite gains
in the stock markets after reports that U.S. President Donald
Trump could soon be discharged from the hospital.
    Spot gold        was up 0.7% at $1,912.80 per ounce as of
2:12 p.m. EDT (1812 GMT), after hitting the highest since Sept.
22 at $1,918.36.
     U.S. gold futures        settled up 0.7% to $1,920.10.
    Optimism over fiscal stimulus came into play after upbeat
weekend comments from U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who said
progress was being made on relief legislation.             
            
    "Maybe there is a little skinnier deal in the horizon that
Pelosi would agree to and Republican party would agree to and I
think the stimulus will be a boon for the metals," said Daniel
Pavilonis, senior market strategist at RJO Futures.
    A little bit of risk-on sentiment has been a negative for
gold, Pavilonis said, adding that "we could see another sideways
week."
    The dollar        was down 0.4% against rivals, making gold
cheaper for holders of other currencies.       
    Global stocks cheered news that Trump could be discharged
from the hospital as soon as Monday, although outside experts
warned that his case may be severe.                         
            
    Trump's COVID-19 infection has also raised uncertainties
around the U.S. presidential election on Nov. 3.
    "Barring a split government outcome, both administrations
are likely to push through a large-scale fiscal deal in no time
that would help de-bottleneck the real rate suppression, lifting
precious metals in the process," TD Securities said in a note.
    "Considering a Blue Wave would likely result in the largest
package, (Democratic candidate Joe) Biden's election odds are
increasingly likely to drive gold prices in the coming month."
    Looking ahead, markets will be watching out for the release
of minutes from U.S. Federal Reserve's September meeting on
Wednesday. 
    Among other metals, silver        gained 2.4% to $24.27 per
ounce, platinum        rose 1.3% to $893.00 and palladium       
climbed 2.5% to $2,366.00.

 (Reporting by Arundhati Sarkar and Swati Verma in Bengaluru
Editing by Nick Zieminski and Steve Orlofsky)
  
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