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PRECIOUS-Gold holds steady on softer dollar, investors eye Powell's speech

    Aug 27 (Reuters) - Gold prices were mostly unchanged on
Thursday after rising more than 1% in the previous session on a
weaker U.S. dollar, as investors awaited a speech from Federal
Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell due later in the day.
    
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold        was steady at $1,952.11 per ounce by 0037
GMT.
    * U.S. gold futures        rose 0.3% to $1,959.
    * The dollar index        fell 0.2% to a near one-week low
against its rivals, making gold less expensive for holders of
other currencies.
    * Powell is set to speak at a virtual Jackson Hole symposium
on Thursday, where he is expected to provide more insight on the
U.S. central bank's strategy on inflation and monetary policy.
    * Japan wants to avert another state of emergency and needs
to consider more stimulus to revive the economy, the
government's top spokesman said.             
    * Republicans in the U.S. Congress are working on a narrow
coronavirus stimulus bill that could be circulated to
rank-and-file lawmakers as soon as this week, CNBC reported on
Wednesday.             
    * Gold tends to benefit from widespread stimulus measures
from central banks because it is widely viewed as a hedge
against inflation and currency debasement.
    * SPDR Gold Trust      , the world's largest gold-backed
exchange-traded fund, said its holdings rose 0.3% to 1,252.09
tonnes on Wednesday.          
    * Asian stocks will likely climb on Thursday after the S&P
500 and Nasdaq rallied to fresh records on upbeat corporate
results.            
    * The United States on Wednesday blacklisted 24 Chinese
companies and targeted individuals it said were part of
construction and military actions in the South China Sea.
            
    * Silver        dropped 0.8% to $27.30 per ounce, platinum
       rose 0.6% to $934.29, and palladium        fell 0.6% to
$2,184.69. 
    
    DATA/EVENTS (GMT)
1230  US         GDP 2nd Estimate        Q2
1230  US         Initial Jobless Claims  Weekly

 (Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi
Aich)
  
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