* U.S. weekly jobless claims due at 1230 GMT

* Gold range-bound between $1,850-$2,070- analyst

* Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus:
https://graphics.reuters.com/world-coronavirus-tracker-and-maps

(Recasts, adds comment, updates prices)

By Sumita Layek

Oct 8 (Reuters) – Gold rose on Thursday on hopes of a
partial U.S. coronavirus stimulus deal to support the
virus-stricken economy, while investors awaited the weekly
jobless claims report from the world’s largest economy.

Spot gold rose 0.2% to $1,891.01 per ounce by 0929
GMT. U.S. gold futures were up 0.3% at $1,895.70.

“The short-term potential for additional stimulus and the
longer term prospect for a Joe Biden-Kamala Harris win, which
the market is viewing as inflationary, are thereby continuing to
support gold, given the increased demand for hedging against
future inflation,” said Saxo Bank analyst Ole Hansen.

Global stocks rose on hopes for the partial stimulus deal,
as President Donald Trump urged Congress to pass money for
airlines, small businesses, and stimulus checks for individuals
on Tuesday after abruptly calling off negotiations.
[MKTS/GLOB]

Bullion, considered a hedge against inflation and currency
debasement, has risen 24% this year following unprecedented
government and central bank stimulus worldwide to revive
economies.

Minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve’s September meeting
offered no clear sense of the next steps to offset the
coronavirus recession. Many policymakers said their economic
outlook assumed additional fiscal support.

The focus is now on U.S. employment data due at 1230 GMT.
Jobless claims are predicted to decline, but continued claims
are likely to remain above 10 million.

“It seems investors are in a wait-and-see mode as they are
still hoping for new stimulus from central banks to help the
economy’s recovery,” ActivTrades chief analyst Carlo Alberto De
Casa said in a note.

“Bullion remains in a lateral trading range between $1,850
and $2,070, waiting for a

Australia’s central bank kept monetary policy unchanged Tuesday, clearing the field for the government to unveil a fiscal blueprint designed to drive the economy’s recovery from a Covid-induced recession.

Reserve Bank Governor Philip Lowe kept both the key interest rate and three-year yield target unchanged at 0.25%, as expected. The labor market is a key focus for the bank, which is due to release fresh forecasts next month, he said.

“The Board views addressing the high rate of unemployment as an important national priority,” Lowe said in a statement. Policy settings will remain highly accommodative for as long as required and the bank “continues to consider how additional monetary easing could support jobs as the economy opens up further,” he said.

The RBA has been working in tandem with fiscal policy makers, pushing down the cost of borrowing to smooth the path for major spending programs. The government’s budget, due five hours after the rate decision, is expected to see a boost to infrastructure, the bringing forward of tax cuts and other measures to kick-start a recovery.

The RBA said labor market conditions have improved and the peak in the jobless rate could be lower than previously expected. Still, unemployment and underemployment were likely to remain high for an extended period.

The Australian dollar initially rose on the statement before falling back to be little changed at 71.94 U.S. cents at 3:31 p.m. in Sydney.

RBA said addressing high unemployment is a national priority

Economists expect the budget deficit will swell to A$220 billion ($158 billion), or 11.6% of gross domestic product, this fiscal year, and unemployment is forecast to rise to 8% by mid-2021 from the current 6.8%, according to the median estimate of a Bloomberg survey.

“Public sector balance sheets in Australia are in good shape, which allows for continued support, with the Australian Government budget to