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PRECIOUS-Gold ticks higher on surging coronavirus cases

    Nov 18 (Reuters) - Gold prices edged higher on Wednesday as
investors weighed the economic impact from the resurgence of
COVID-19 globally against optimism over a potential vaccine.

    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold        rose 0.2% to $1,881.36 per ounce by 0055
GMT, while U.S. gold futures        were down 0.3% at $1,878.90.
   
    * U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said on Tuesday
it was not time to shut down emergency programs aimed at
battling the economic fallout from the pandemic and the economy
is left with "a long way to go" to recover.             
    * U.S. retail sales increased less than expected in October
and could slow down further, restrained by surging COVID-19
infections and declining household income as millions of
unemployed Americans lose government financial support.
            
    * More than 55.3 million people have been reported to be
infected by the coronavirus worldwide, according to a Reuters
tally.             
    * Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned his top ministers on
Tuesday it was far from certain that a trade agreement would be
reached with the European Union but that Britain would thrive
with, or without, a deal.             
    * An effective coronavirus vaccine will not fundamentally
change European Central Bank economic projections, ECB President
Christine Lagarde told a Bloomberg event on Tuesday.
            
    * The World Platinum Investment Council (WPIC) said on
Wednesday a shortfall of metal this year would be almost four
times bigger than it previously forecast as supply shrinks by
more than expected and demand rebounds faster from the pandemic
hit.             
    * Investment in silver coins and bars will hit a five-year
high this year and exchange-traded funds will expand their hoard
by 350 million ounces to a record 1.1 billion ounces, an
industry report said on Tuesday.             
    * Silver        was flat at $24.47 per ounce. Platinum
       was steady at $925.60, while palladium        fell 0.2%
to $2,314.08. 
    
    DATA/EVENTS (GMT)
    0700  UK         CPI YY                   Oct
    1000  EU         HICP Final MM, YY        Oct
    1330  US         Housing Starts Number    Oct

 (Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi
Aich)
  
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