PRECIOUS-Gold set for weekly decline as U.S. stimulus hopes ebb


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    * Spot gold down 1.4% this week, silver down over 3% 
    * Dollar heads for first weekly rise in three weeks
    * Upbeat U.S. retail sales data lifts stocks
    * Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus:
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 (Updates prices)
    By Brijesh Patel
    Oct 16 (Reuters) - Gold fell and was on the way to its first
weekly decline in three weeks on Friday, as fading chances of a
U.S. stimulus agreement before the Nov. 3 presidential election
dented the metal's appeal as an inflation hedge.
    Spot gold  XAU=  fell 0.3% to $1,901.87 per ounce by 1:32
p.m. EDT (1732 GMT). Bullion is down 1.4% so far this week. U.S.
gold futures  GCv1  settled 0.1% lower at $1,906.40.
    "With a stimulus bill this year highly uncertain, gold
remains beholden to the USD," said Tai Wong, head of base and
precious metals derivatives trading at BMO.
    "While sentiment for gold remains strongly bullish without a
strong short-term driver, we seem to be oscillating around
$1,900 unable to substantially break the month-long range of
    The dollar index  .DXY  eased 0.2% on the day, but was on
track for a weekly gain, making it more expensive for holders of
other currencies to buy gold.  USD/ 
    A stronger-than-expected U.S. retail sales report lifted
appetite for riskier assets, but factory production unexpectedly
fell in September.  .N*:nL1N2H61J3*:nL1N2H61JQ
    Democrats and Republicans seemed unlikely to agree on a U.S.
stimulus deal before Election Day even as coronavirus cases
continue to rise and a labour market recovery stalls.*:nL1N2H619Z
    Gold, which has risen about 25% so far this year, is
considered a hedge against inflation and currency debasement
amid the unprecedented global levels of stimulus.
    "With so much event risk on the horizon, culminating with
the U.S. elections, we have likely seen the lows in gold for the
next month or so," Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at
OANDA, said in a note.
    "Gold's likely to shift into a $1,900 to $1,975 an ounce
range as the elections draw near."
    Silver  XAG=  shed 0.3% to $24.25 per ounce, but was down
over 3% for the week. Platinum  XPT=  eased 0.2% to $862.05,
while palladium  XPD=  slipped 0.9% to $2,332.20.    

 (Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru
Editing by Marguerita Choy and Matthew Lewis)
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