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PRECIOUS-Gold above $1,900 on Trump COVID news, heads for biggest weekly rise in 8

Credit: REUTERS/KIM HONG-JI

Gold clung to the $1,900 level in choppy trading on Friday, with gains capped by a firm dollar, but bullion remained headed for its biggest weekly rise in eight weeks as U.S. President Donald Trump's COVID-19 positive test and dismal jobs data hurt risk sentiment.

* Gold up 2.4% this week

* President Trump "not incapacitated" - White House

* U.S. job growth slowed more than expected in September

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

By Sumita Layek

Oct 2 (Reuters) - Gold clung to the $1,900 level in choppy trading on Friday, with gains capped by a firm dollar, but bullion remained headed for its biggest weekly rise in eight weeks as U.S. President Donald Trump's COVID-19 positive test and dismal jobs data hurt risk sentiment.

Spot gold was unchanged at $1,904.31 an ounce by 10:57 a.m. EDT (1457 GMT). Prices were set to rise 2.4% this week, heading for the biggest weekly percentage rise since early August.

U.S. gold futures eased 0.4% to $1,909.50.

"The election is 33 days away, there's so much unknown -- will it be a mild case, how will he react to it? So we have flight to safety keeping gold afloat," said Bob Haberkorn, senior market strategist at RJO Futures.

"Traders seem cautious because they're concerned about equity markets selling off." [.N]

Gold had risen to an over one-week high after Trump said in a tweet that he and his wife Melania had tested positive for the coronavirus, hammering Wall Street.

However the White House reassured Americans that the President was "not incapacitated".

Investors also took stock of the last monthly employment report before the Nov. 3 presidential election, which showed U.S. job growth slowed more than expected in September.

"Gold is likely to remain range-bound in the short term. The market will wait through the weekend and look for news," said Tai Wong, head of base and precious metals derivatives trading at BMO.

The dollar too benefited from safe-haven inflows, limiting gold's upside. [USD/]

Focus was also on an elusive U.S. coronavirus relief aid deal.

Gold can move back up "if the U.S. congress passes a stimulus bill, that seems to be what this market is hanging on for now," Haberkorn added.

Elsewhere, silver rose 0.5% to $24.01 an ounce, platinum dropped 1.1% to $886.26 and palladium eased 0.4% to $2,305.65. (Reporting by Sumita Layek and Arpan Varghese in Bengaluru; Editing by David Gregorio) ((Sumita.Layek@thomsonreuters.com; Within U.S. +1 646 223 8780, Outside U.S. +91 8061822693; Reuters Messaging: Sumita.Layek.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: GLOBAL PRECIOUS/ (UPDATE 8)

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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