* Silver set for best month on record * Dollar drops to over two-year low, eyes worst month in decade * Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus: open tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7 in an external browser (Adds comments, details, updates prices) By Brijesh Patel July 31 (Reuters) - Gold rose on Friday en route to its best month in more than four years as the dollar slid further after dismal U.S. data added to doubts about a swift recovery from the pandemic-induced economic slump, driving investors towards the safe-haven metal. Spot gold was up 0.4% at $1,966.31 per ounce by 0251 GMT after snapping a nine-session winning streak in the previous session. U.S. gold futures rose 1% to $1,959.70. The U.S. dollar fell to a two-year low and was on course for its worst month in a decade, making bullion cheaper for investors holding other currencies. Apart from U.S. data showing the deepest economic contraction in at least 73 years in the second quarter, and a rise in unemployment benefits, the dollar was also hurt as President Donald Trump raised the idea of delaying the Nov. 3 presidential election. "The weak Q2 GDP also underscores the point of a weak economy, and investors seeking refuge in gold," said National Australia Bank economist John Sharma. A deterioration in the coronavirus situation, escalation in geopolitical tensions and further declines in the dollar could push gold above the $2,000 level, he added. Gold has risen more than 10% so far this month, its biggest monthly percentage gain since February 2016, having soared to an all-time high of $1,980.57 on Tuesday. The jump took its gains for the year to nearly 30%, driven by a worsening pandemic and low interest rates globally amid widespread stimulus from central banks since the metal is considered a refuge against inflation and currency debasement. "However, further gains are reliant on investor demand, with consumer demand showing no signs of recovery," ANZ analysts said in a note. Among other metals, silver was up 0.1% at $23.56 an ounce, on course for its best month on record -- at 30%, with additional support coming from hopes for a revival in industrial activity. Platinum eased 0.2% to $900.82 and palladium dropped 0.5% to $2,073.54. (Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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