Sept 26 (Reuters) - Gold prices inched higher on Thursday as investors resorted to bargain hunting after a sharp drop in the previous session, although a firm dollar limited the gains.
* Spot gold was up 0.3% at $1,508.61 per ounce, as of 0126 GMT. In the previous session, prices fell 1.8%, their biggest one-day percentage decline since Sept. 5.
* U.S. gold futures were up 0.2% at $1,515.9 per ounce.
* The dollar index posted its sharpest daily gain in three months overnight and held steady in Asian trade as investors welcomed U.S. President Donald Trump’s hints of progress toward a trade deal with China.
* Asian stocks edged higher on hints of U.S.-China trade progress.
* Trump said on Wednesday a deal to end a nearly 15-month trade war with China could happen sooner than people think and that the Chinese were making big agricultural purchases from the United States, including of beef and pork.
* Trump pressed Ukraine’s president to investigate a political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, in coordination with the U.S. attorney general and Trump’s personal lawyer, according to a summary of a telephone call released by the Trump administration on Wednesday.
* Iranian President Hassan Rouhani demanded on Wednesday that the United States “pay more” for any agreement that goes beyond the 2015 Iran nuclear deal that Washington abandoned.
* The United States is imposing sanctions on certain Chinese entities for knowingly transferring oil from Iran, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in what he called fresh actions to intensify pressure on Iran.
* Chicago Federal Reserve president Charles Evans said on Wednesday he backed the Fed’s two recent rate cuts but feels the central bank is now “well-positioned” to see how economic data evolves.
* SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings rose 1.81% to 924.94 tonnes on Wednesday.
* South African miner Sibanye-Stillwater said on Wednesday it planned to cut around 5,270 jobs, or about 6% of its workforce, as it restructures its loss-making Marikana operations that it acquired this year.
DATA AHEAD 1230 US GDP Final Q2 1230 US Initial Jobless Claims Weekly (Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)