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PRECIOUS-Gold ticks up on weaker dollar; solid U.S. data caps gains

    Sept 2 (Reuters) - Gold prices edged higher on Wednesday as
the dollar weakened, although upbeat U.S. manufacturing data
lifted hopes about global economic recovery and curbed demand
for the safe-haven metal. 
    
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold        was up 0.1% at $1,971.07 per ounce by
0032 GMT, after hitting its highest since Aug. 19 at $1,991.91
on Tuesday. 
    * U.S. gold futures        were steady at $1,978.90.
    * The dollar index        held close to a more than two-year
low on bets that U.S. interest rates would stay low for longer
under the new monetary policy approach from the Federal Reserve.
      
    * The U.S. central bank would need to roll out more stimulus
to fulfil its new promise of stronger job growth and higher
inflation, Fed Governor Lael Brainard said on Tuesday.
            
    * Low interest rates reduce the opportunity cost of holding
non-yielding bullion, which is also used as a hedge against
inflation and currency debasement.
    * Senate Republicans are likely to take up their COVID-19
relief bill next week offering $500 billion in additional
federal aid, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows
said.                         
    * Meanwhile, U.S. manufacturing activity accelerated to a
nearly two-year high in August amid a surge in new orders.
            
    * Asian shares were set gain on Wednesday, encouraged by
buoyant U.S. moves that followed stronger-than-expected
manufacturing indicators.            
    * More than 25.61 million people have been reported to be
infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 851,300​ have
died, according to a Reuters tally.             
    * Silver        gained 0.3% to $28.25 per ounce, platinum
       rose 0.3% to $943.63, and palladium        climbed 0.2%
to $2,276.83.
    
    DATA/EVENTS (GMT)
0130  Australia  Real GDP QQ, YY SA             Q2
0600  UK         Nationwide House Price MM, YY  Aug
1400  US         Factory Orders MM              July
1800  US         Federal Reserve issues the Beige Book of
economic condition

 (Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru)
  
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