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PRECIOUS-Gold rises as economic uncertainty prevails, dollar softens
Published at 18/09/2020 at 13:45

* Spot gold up 0.3% for the week

* Gold yet to price in further economic risks - analyst

* Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus:

(Adds comments, updates prices)

By Nakul Iyer

Sept 18 (Reuters) - Gold prices gained on Friday, buoyed by a weaker dollar and lingering concerns over the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic that were underscored by elevated weekly U.S. jobless claims data.

Spot gold was up 0.2% to $1,946.73 per ounce at 1231 GMT, and was on track for a second straight week of gains, rising 0.3% so far.

U.S. gold futures were up 0.4% at $1,957.20 per ounce.

"The overriding fundamental support (for gold) are real yields, which are deeply negative and a weaker dollar ... but we need a catalyst (to push it higher)," said Robin Bhar, an independent analyst.

The U.S. weekly jobless claims report on Thursday showed a smaller-then expected decline in new claims, weighing on the dollar and bolstering the appeal of gold as an investment alternative.

"The path into the post-pandemic era still poses downside risks for the global economy, and if crystallized, could help bullion realize more of its upside," FXTM market analyst Han Tan said.

Low interest rates globally and widespread stimulus measures have helped gold gain over 28% so far this year, as they lower the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion and bolster its appeal as a hedge against inflation risk.

Continuing the trend, the U.S. Federal Reserve vowed on Wednesday to keep interest rates near zero for a long time.

On Thursday, the Bank of England said it was considering negative interest rates, while the Bank of Japan signalled readiness to ramp up stimulus.

"Gold is yet to price in further significant (economic) risks - and those risks to me imply more upside for gold .... Nothing is going to clear up quick enough for gold to tumble," Bhar added.

Silver fell 0.9% to $26.86 per ounce, while platinum

dropped 0.8% to $932.80 and palladium fell about 1% to $2,312.83.

(Reporting by Nakul Iyer and Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru Editing by Tomasz Janowski and Mark Potter)

((eileen.soreng@thomsonreuters.com; Within U.S. +1 646 223 8780, Outside U.S. +91 80 6749 6131; Reuters Messaging: eileen.soreng.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))