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COVID-19 TOTAL DAILY
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KP 34,755 Cases

Gold held above $1,800 on Thursday, close to the near nine-year peak hit in the previous session, on growing fears that surging coronavirus cases could stall a global economic recovery, with the focus shifting to US jobs data later in the day.

Spot gold was little changed at $1,809.19 per ounce at 1133 GMT. It climbed to its highest since September 2011 at $1,817.71 on Wednesday. US gold futures were 0.3% lower at $1,816.

"The combination of global central bank easing, geopolitical risks, the persisting pandemic impact and global recession could continue to push gold prices higher in the medium term," said Bank of China International analyst Xiao Fu.

But the analyst also said: "There's volatility ahead ... There could be some better economic data or (signs economies are) returning to normal, it could slow down the rally to a certain extent."

Global coronavirus cases exceeded 12 million on Wednesday, with more than half a million dead. In the United States, cases have been on the rise in 42 of the 50 states over the past two weeks, according to a Reuters analysis.

Keeping alive worries over the economic fallout, US Federal Reserve officials on Wednesday suggested the recovery in the world's largest economy may be stalling.

Meanwhile, Britain's finance minister promised an additional $38 billion to try to head off an unemployment crisis.

Stimulus tends to boost gold, which is considered a hedge against inflation and currency debasement.

The dollar traded near multi-week lows, while European stocks rose as China's markets continued their charge.

"For as long as COVID-19 stimulates concerns around another round of lockdowns and slowing global growth, gold may remain in fashion despite rising stock markets," said FXTM analyst Lukman Otunuga.

Among other metals, palladium climbed 1.8% to $1,951.02 per ounce, while platinum was 0.9% higher at $851.23.

Silver gained 1.1% to $18.98, having earlier hit its highest since September 2019 at $19.02.