PRECIOUS-Gold steady on U.S. stimulus hopes, jobless claims data awaited

    Oct 8 (Reuters) - Gold prices were steady on Thursday as
renewed hopes for more U.S. stimulus kept the bullion afloat,
with investors eyeing the weekly jobless claims data to further
gauge the health of the world's largest economy.
    * Spot gold        was little changed at $1,886.69 per ounce
by 0100 GMT, having risen as much as 1.1% in the previous
    * U.S. gold futures        were flat at $1,889.80.
    * The dollar index        was steady against rivals after
declining overnight.       
    * U.S. Federal Reserve policymakers split over how to apply
a new strategy for monetary policy at their September meeting,
and, amid growing doubts about the path of the economy, offered
no clear sense of their next steps to offset the coronavirus
recession, minutes from their September meeting showed.
    * Top White House officials on Wednesday downplayed the
possibility of more coronavirus relief, while House Speaker
Nancy Pelosi disparaged U.S. President Donald Trump for backing
away from talks on a comprehensive deal.             
    * However, after having shut down the deal's negotiations on
Tuesday, Trump wrote on Twitter that Congress should pass money
for airlines, small businesses, and stimulus checks of $1,200
for individuals.
    * Gold tends to benefit from widespread stimulus measures as
it is widely viewed as a hedge against inflation and currency
    * Britain said on Wednesday there was a 66% chance of a
Brexit trade deal but sought to use Prime Minister Boris
Johnson's deadline of Oct. 15 to hurry the bloc's negotiators
towards an agreement.             
    * Asian shares were set to follow Wall Street gains on 
renewed hopes for more U.S. stimulus.            
    * Silver        was steady at $23.83 per ounce, platinum
       was up 0.1% at $865.21, while palladium        was flat
at $2,352.18.

    1230   US  Initial Jobless Claim Weekly

 (Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru; editing by