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PRECIOUS-Gold rises on softer dollar, U.S. stimulus hopes

    Oct 9 (Reuters) - Gold prices edged higher on Friday,
supported by a weaker dollar and optimism over a new U.S.
coronavirus relief aid after President Donald Trump said talks
with Congress have restarted. 
    
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold        rose 0.3% to $1,898.31 per ounce by 0054
GMT.    
    * U.S. gold futures        were up 0.4% at $1,902.60.
    * The dollar index        was on track for a second
consecutive weekly decline.       
    * In an interview, Trump said there was a good chance a deal
over COVID-19 relief could be reached, but gave no other details
about a possible agreement.             
    * House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said
legislation to help airline companies survive the fallout from
the pandemic could only move through Congress with guarantees
that a comprehensive aid bill would be developed too.
            
    * Gold tends to benefit from widespread stimulus measures as
it is widely viewed as a hedge against inflation and currency
debasement. 
    * Trump's physician said on Thursday that the U.S. president
had completed his course of therapy for COVID-19, had remained
stable since returning to the White House and could resume
public engagements on Saturday.             
    * Gold-backed exchange traded funds added more than 1,000
tonnes of bullion worth $60 billion at current prices to their
stockpile in the first nine months of 2020, driving a sizzling
price rally, the World Gold Council (WGC) said.             
    * The world's central banks sold more gold in August than
they bought, the WGC said, ending a year-and-a-half-long run of
monthly gold accumulation and helping stall a rapid rise in gold
prices.             
    * Silver        rose 0.4% to $23.93 per ounce, platinum
       gained 0.6% to $867.06, and palladium        was up 0.3%
to $2,379.29. 

    DATA/EVENTS (GMT)
    0145  China  Caixin Services PMI      Sept
    0600  UK     GDP Est 3M/3/M           Aug
    0600  UK     GDP Estimate MM, YY      Aug
    0600  UK     Manufacturing Output MM  Aug

 (Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru; editing by
Uttaresh.V)
  
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