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Gold prices firm as tepid dollar lends support

Credit: REUTERS/BAZ RATNER

Gold prices edged higher on Monday, helped by a softer dollar while investors looked forward to speeches by Federal Reserve policymakers due this week for further clues on the U.S. central bank's approach to inflation.

* New coronavirus infections in Europe add to economic woes

* Gold in range-trading mode - analyst

* Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus: https://graphics.reuters.com/world-coronavirus-tracker-and-maps/ (Adds comments, details, and updates prices)

By Eileen Soreng

Sept 21 (Reuters) - Gold prices edged higher on Monday, helped by a softer dollar while investors looked forward to speeches by Federal Reserve policymakers due this week for further clues on the U.S. central bank's approach to inflation.

Spot gold rose 0.2% to $1,953.37 per ounce by 334 GMT.

U.S. gold futures inched 0.1% lower to $1,960.50.

The dollar index was down 0.1% against its rivals, making gold more attractive for buyers holding other currencies.

Investors are now eyeing speeches by Fed committee members, including Chairman Jerome Powell, who will appear before Congressional committees later this week.

"The focus on Jerome Powell will be how much he is going to try to sway the Senate to provide more stimulus, more stimulus in the U.S. could lead to a weaker U.S. dollar and that would be positive for gold," said Stephen Innes, chief market strategist at AxiCorp.

Gold has surged about 29% this year as governments and central banks worldwide released unprecedented global stimulus measures to revive their economies from coronavirus-induced slump.

Gold "remains in a range-trading mode, with resistance at $1975.00, and support at $1935.00 an ounce," Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst at OANDA said in a note.

Also keeping the floor under gold were concerns emerging from a resurgence in COVID-19 cases globally that prompted major cities from Denmark to Greece to announce restrictions again, while worldwide cases crossed 30.78 million.

Gold, however, could struggle getting to $2,000 this year because of improving economic situation and benefits of a vaccine coming into play, AxiCorp's Innes added.

Meanwhile, data from the Commodities Futures Trading Commission showed that speculators raised their net long position in COMEX gold by 10,622 contracts to 165,251 in the week ended Sept. 15.

Among other precious metals, silver ticked up 0.3% to $26.85 per ounce, platinum gained 1% to $936.84 and palladium was 1.1% higher at $2,381.86. (Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips) ((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)) Keywords: GLOBAL PRECIOUS/ (UPDATE 1)

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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