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AMSTERDAM/LONDON: Gold edged higher on Friday, helped by worries over a spike in COVID-19 cases that could muddy the global economic outlook, but gains were capped as it had to compete with the dollar to attract investors seeking safe-haven assets.

Spot gold was up 0.2% at $1,783.97 per ounce by 1151 GMT and up about 0.3% on the week. US gold futures were up 0.2% at $1,785.70.

"Gold is benefiting from some safe-haven inflows due to COVID-19 concerns in the market right now," said Xiao Fu, head of commodity market strategy at Bank of China International.

"Gold's near-term outlook looks mixed because the Federal Reserve has indicated tapering. If they continue to reiterate that view, it would weigh on gold as we could see the dollar strengthening and a rally in yields," she added.

Global shares fell for a fifth straight day as rising coronavirus cases dented risk sentiment.

But the dollar also benefited from safe-haven interest, pushing the currency to a 9-1/2-month high, limiting gold's advance by making bullion more expensive for other currency holders.

Against the backdrop of recent tapering hints from the US central bank, spotlight shifts to the Fed's annual get-together next week in Jackson Hole, Wyoming that could shed further light on monetary strategy and timeline.

"As we head into Jackson Hole, some of those corrective gains in gold are likely to get retraced," said DailyFX currency strategist Ilya Spivak.

Elsewhere, silver eased 0.1% to $23.20 per ounce en route to a third straight weekly decline.

Palladium was steady at $2,314.28 but was on course for its worst week since March 2020, falling 12.7%.

Platinum rose 0.5% to $978.50, but down 5% for the week.

"The growing shortage of chips in the automotive industry is likely to have played its part in the price slide experienced by platinum and palladium," Commerzbank analysts said in a note.

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