PRECIOUS-Gold ticks up on softer dollar, doubts over early Fed taper

Sept 7 (Reuters) - Gold prices firmed on Tuesday, propped up by a softer dollar and prospects of the U.S. Federal Reserve delaying a tapering in its pandemic-era bond purchases.


* Spot gold rose 0.2% to $1,826.75 per ounce by 0108 GMT.

* Prices had hit a 2-1/2-month high last week following a disappointing U.S. non-farm payrolls data. A strong jobs recovery is crucial for the central bank to start withdrawing its stimulus measures.

* Some investors view gold as a hedge against inflation that may follow stimulus measures, while lower interest rates reduce the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.

* U.S. gold futures eased 0.3% to $1,828.00.

* The dollar index ticked down about 0.1%, lifting gold's allure for holders of other currencies.

* Most U.S. markets were closed on Monday for the Labor Day holiday.

* With the euro zone economy roaring back to life, the European Central Bank will debate a cut in its stimulus on Thursday, beginning a hard-fought and lengthy discussion on how to dismantle the crisis-fighting measures that have kept the bloc afloat.

* In Japan, household spending grew less than expected in July as a resurgence of COVID-19 cases hindered consumer activity and threw broader economic recovery prospects into doubt.

* India's gold imports in August nearly doubled from a year earlier on strong demand and as weaker prices prompted jewellers to ramp up purchases for the festive season, a government source said.

* Silver firmed 0.4% to $24.76 per ounce, platinum rose 0.1% to $1,020.26 and palladium was flat at $2,410.52.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT) 0600 Germany Industrial Output MM July 0600 UK Halifax House Prices MM Aug 0645 France Reserve Assets Total Aug 0900 Germany ZEW Economic Sentiment Sept 0900 Germany ZEW Current Conditions Sept 0900 EU GDP Revised QQ, YY Q2 N/A China Exports, Imports Aug N/A China Trade Balance Aug (Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)

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