PRECIOUS-Gold steadies near two-week high on sliding dollar

    Sept 1 (Reuters) - Gold held steady near a two-week high on
Tuesday as a weaker dollar and ultra-low interest rate
environment kept demand solid for the safe-haven metal. 
    * Spot gold        was little changed at $1,968.98 per ounce
by 0041 GMT, after hitting its highest since Aug. 19 at
$1,976.14 on Monday.
    * U.S. gold futures        eased 0.1% to $1,975.80.
    * The dollar index        held close to a more than two-year
low against its rivals, making gold less expensive for holders
of other currencies.       
    * U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell outlined an
accommodative policy change last week that is believed could
result in inflation moving slightly higher and interest rates
staying lower for longer.              
    * Fed Vice Chair Richard Clarida on Monday expanded on
Powell's comments saying that under the U.S. central bank's new
policy view, a low rate of unemployment does not on its own
trigger higher interest rates.             
    * Gold tends to appreciate on expectations of lower interest
rates, which reduce the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding
    * Asian stocks were set to weaken on Tuesday following a
softer Wall Street close.            
    * More than 25.38 million people have been reported to be
infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 847,287​ have
died, according to a Reuters tally.             
    * Market participants now await the release of China
manufacturing data and an interest rate decision from the
Australian central bank.
    * Meanwhile, Japan's factory activity contracted at the
slowest pace in six months in August.             
    * Silver        fell 0.2% to $28.17 per ounce, platinum
       rose 0.3% to $931.87, and palladium        dropped 0.3%
to $2,235.64.
0145  China      Caixin Mfg PMI Final       Aug
0800  EU         Markit Mfg Final PMI       Aug
1345  US         Markit Mfg PMI Final       Aug
1400  US         ISM Manufacturing PMI      Aug 

 (Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu