PRECIOUS-Gold languishes near 2-week low as firm dollar weighs

Sept 9 (Reuters) - Gold prices held near two-week lows on Thursday, pressured by a stronger U.S. dollar, while investors awaited a policy decision by the European Central Bank (ECB) due later in the day.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold was unchanged at $1,789.39 per ounce by 0054 GMT, after touching its lowest level since Aug. 26 at $1,781.30 in the previous session.

* U.S. gold futures eased 0.1% to $1,790.80.

* The dollar was buoyed by cautious risk sentiment, denting the bullion's appeal for those holding other currencies.

* ECB's policy decision is due at 1145 GMT and it is expected to take a token step towards unwinding the pandemic-era emergency economic aid while still signalling copious support for years to come.

* Meanwhile, several Federal Reserve policymakers on Wednesday signalled that the U.S. central bank remains on track to trim its massive asset purchases this year, despite the slowdown in jobs growth seen in August and the impact a resurgence in COVID-19 cases.

* Non-yielding gold tends to gain in a low interest-rate environment, while some investors also view the metal as a hedge against higher inflation that could follow stimulus measures.

* The U.S. economy "downshifted slightly" in August as the renewed surge of the coronavirus hit dining, travel and tourism, the Fed reported Wednesday.

* The World Platinum Investment Council (WPIC) said on Thursday it now expects the global platinum market to be in surplus this year as mine supply ramps up and investment demand falls.

* Platinum dropped 0.4% to $975.78 per ounce while silver fell 0.1% to $23.94.

* Palladium eased 0.2% to $2,245.89. Prices fell to their lowest level since Feb. 2 at $2,213.95 on Wednesday.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT) 0130 China PPI, CPI YY Aug 1145 EU ECB Refinancing Rate Aug 1145 EU ECB Deposit Rate Aug 1230 US Initial Jobless Clm Weekly Governing Council of the ECB holds monetary policy meeting in Frankfurt (Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)

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