PRECIOUS-Gold firms on stimulus wave, doubts about vaccine

 (Adds quote, details and updates prices)
    * FOMC minutes due at 1800 GMT
    * Palladium hits one-month high, platinum over 2-month peak
    * For an interactive graphic tracking the global coronavirus
spread, open tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7 in an external browser

    By Asha Sistla
    May 20 (Reuters) - Gold rose on Wednesday amid extensive
stimulus measures and uncertainty over a possible coronavirus
vaccine, but bullion's gains were limited as risk appetite
improved on hopes of an economic recovery. 
    Spot gold        was up 0.1% to $1,746.32 per ounce by 10:27
a.m. ET. U.S. gold futures         rose 0.2% to $1,748.80.
    "In the midst of lesser need for safe-haven assets like
gold, the fact that gold continued to slowly rise speaks volumes
about its underlying strength based on the idea of liquidity
injection across the board from central banks and economies,"
said David Meger, director of metals trading at High Ridge
Futures.
    "On a slightly offsetting note" was the gain in equities on
optimism over the reopening of economies and pent-up consumer
demand, while developments surrounding the Moderna vaccine tests
were a "wild card" for markets, Meger added. 
    Stock markets climbed on hopes of recovery and further
stimulus after drifting lower on media reports the results from
Moderna Inc's          COVID-19 vaccine trial lacked detail.
           
    Massive global stimulus to limit the economic damage from
the coronavirus pandemic have supported gold, considered a hedge
against inflation and currency debasement.
    Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told lawmakers the
Fed was looking at extending access to the credit facilities to
additional borrowers, including states with smaller populations.
             
    The focus now shifts to the Federal Open Market Committee's
April 28-29 policy meeting minutes due at 1800 GMT.           
    The latest dismal data from the U.S., including record
jobless claims, underscored the economic blow from the 
pandemic, which has infected almost 4.91 million people
globally.             
    Among other precious metals, palladium        gained 1.9% to
$2,097.26 per ounce, after touching a one-month peak earlier, 
silver        rose 0.3% to $17.45 and platinum        climbed
1.7% to $846.86, holding over a two-month high.

 (Reporting by Asha Sistla in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernadette
Baum)
  

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