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PRECIOUS-Gold steadies as dollar stalls, economic concerns persist

    Sept 3 (Reuters) - Gold prices edged higher on Thursday
following a steep fall in the previous session, as a weaker U.S.
dollar and worries over the global economic outlook due to
rising COVID-19 cases underpinned the metal's appeal.
    
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold        inched up 0.1% to $1,944.58 per ounce by
0059 GMT, after falling 1.4% on Wednesday. 
    * U.S. gold futures        rose 0.3% to $1,950.60.
    * The dollar index        fell 0.1% after a significant rise
in the last session, making gold less expensive for holders of
other currencies.       
    * U.S. private employers hired fewer workers than expected
for a second straight month in August, suggesting that the labor
market recovery was slowing as the COVID-19 pandemic persists.
            
    * U.S. business activity and employment ticked up through
late August, the Federal Reserve said on Wednesday, but economic
growth was generally sluggish as COVID-19 hotspots hampered
reopening efforts that fueled an early-summer rebound.
            
    * Gold is used as a safe investment during times of
political and financial uncertainty.
    * More than 25.88 million people have been reported to be
infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 857,881​ have
died, according to a Reuters tally.             
    * Asian equities were set to open higher on Thursday.
           
    * Market participants now await readings on services
activity in China and the initial U.S. jobless claims report due
later in the day, as well as U.S. payroll figures on Friday.
    * Silver        eased 0.1% to $27.48 per ounce, platinum
       rose 0.1% to $906.69 and palladium        fell 0.3% to
$2,241.10.
    
    DATA/EVENTS (GMT)
0145  China      Caixin Services PMI          Aug
0800  EU         Markit Serv, Comp Final PMIs Aug
1230  US         International Trade          July
1230  US         Initial Jobless Clm          Weekly
1345  US         Markit Serv, Comp Final PMIs Aug
1400  US         ISM N-Mfg PMI                Aug

 (Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika
Syamnath)
  
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