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PRECIOUS-Gold inches higher on U.S.-China tensions, recovery woes

    Sept 23 (Reuters) - Gold prices edged higher on Wednesday,
supported by renewed U.S.-China tensions and concerns over
economic recovery, but a robust dollar capped gains. 
    
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold        rose 0.2% to $1,902.04 per ounce by 0100
GMT.    
    * U.S. gold futures        eased 0.1% to $1,905.60.
    * The dollar index        hit an eight-week peak. A firmer
dollar makes bullion more expensive for holders of other
currencies.       
    * U.S. President Donald Trump told the United Nations
General Assembly on Tuesday that China must be held accountable
for having "unleashed" COVID-19 on the world, prompting Beijing
to accuse him of "lies" and abusing the U.N. platform to provoke
confrontation.             
    * Top U.S. economic policymakers opened the door on Tuesday
to further aid for small businesses hit by the
coronavirus-triggered recession, but differed over how broad it
might extend and the manner in which it should be delivered.
            
    * Meanwhile, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans said the
central bank still needed to discuss its new average inflation
target but that it "could start raising rates before we start
averaging 2%."             
    * Low interest rates tend to support gold, which is
considered a hedge against inflation and currency depreciation.
    * The UK has imposed fresh set of curbs to tackle a second
wave of COVID-19, with new restrictions lasting probably six
months.             
    * Holdings in SPDR Gold Trust      , the world's largest
gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 0.05% to 1,278.23 tonnes
on Tuesday.             
    * Silver        fell 0.6% to $24.26 per ounce, platinum
       rose 0.3% to $869.64 and palladium        slipped 0.8% to
$2,203.15. 

    DATA/EVENTS (GMT)
    0715  France     Markit Mfg, Serv, Comp Flash     PMIs
    0730  Germany    Markit Mfg, Services, comp Flash PMIs
    0800  EU         Markit Mfg, Serv, Comp Flash     PMIs
    0830  UK         Flash Mfg, Serv, Comp PMIs
    1345  US         Markit Serv, Comp Final PMIs

 (Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi
Aich)
  
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