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Gold firms above $1,900/oz as softer dollar boosts demand

Kitco News

Nakul Iyer

* Dollar drops to 1-week low

* U.S. weekly jobless claims due at 1230 GMT 

* Silver up over 1%, recovering from Wednesday's 2-week low

* Fed officials warn of muted U.S. growth until virus is contained

* Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus: tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7 in an external browser

(Recasts, adds comments, updates prices)

By Nakul Iyer

Aug 13 (Reuters) - Gold firmed above $1,900 on Thursday as the dollar fell, with bargain hunters betting on a resumption of bullion's broader upwards trend attracted by its recent steep slide from a record peak. 

Spot gold was 0.7% higher at $1,930.20 per ounce by 1000 GMT, after slipping below $1,900 in choppy trade the previous session. Prices soared to a record $2,072.50 on Friday.

U.S. gold futures eased 0.4% to $1,941.00 per ounce.

"The overall consensus is the price should move higher rather than lower and that's why we see some bargain hunting," said Julius Baer analyst Carsten Menke, adding the mood was still "very bullish." 

Bolstering gold's appeal for those holding other currencies, the dollar hit a one-week low, pressured by a stalemate in Washington over additional stimulus for the U.S. economy.

Gold's dip below $1,900 "flushed out a lot of weak longs", said Michael McCarthy, chief strategist at CMC Markets.

"The outlook remains positive in a lower interest rate environment, particularly with the weakening dollar."

Adding to the gloomy outlook, U.S. Federal Reserve policymakers warned U.S. growth would be muted until the coronavirus was contained.             

On Wednesday, data showed Britain's economy recorded the biggest contraction among any major economy so far in the second quarter.              

Massive money-printing by central banks and an ultra-low interest rate environment amid worries over the economic fallout from mounting COVID-19 cases have helped safe-haven gold rise more than 27% so far in 2020.

But while the fundamentals are favourable, "any significant upside from these levels would be detaching again from fundamentally justified levels," since gold as an insurance is still quite expensive at the moment, Julius Baer's Menke said.

Investors are now waiting for U.S. weekly jobless claims data due at 1230 GMT, and watching for developments between the  U.S. and China ahead of trade talks on Aug. 15.

Elsewhere, silver rose 1.4% to $25.92 per ounce, platinum gained 1.2% to $942.32 per ounce and palladium climbed 0.3% to $2,138.05 per ounce. 

(Reporting by Nakul Iyer in Bengaluru; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

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