LONDON: Gold ticked higher on Thursday as some speculators bet that a slide from last month's peak had run its course as they waited for more clues on whether U.S. interest rates would be hiked.
Gold has rowed back about 6 percent since touching $1,357.54 per ounce in early September, the highest in over a year.
"After we managed to find support at the key technical level of $1,268 earlier this week, that attracted some renewed buyers into the market," said Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank in Copenhagen.
"Now the market is looking for data that can solidify the sentiment that the correction is over, but so far we haven't really seen that. The Fed speakers later today and the job report tomorrow may give indications of whether the Fed wants to act or not in December."
Several Fed officials are due to speak later on Thursday as markets await U.S. non-farm payrolls data on Friday, with investors expecting a slowdown in new jobs due to disruptions from two major hurricanes in September.
Spot gold was up 0.3 percent at $1,277.82 an ounce at 1005 GMT, while U.S. gold futures for December delivery added 0.3 percent to $1,280.50.
Fed funds futures on Wednesday showed investors were pricing in an 83 percent chance of a December rate hike by the U.S. central bank.
Higher interest rates typically boost the dollar and aid bond yields, adding pressure on greenback-denominated, non-yielding gold.
Global stocks came off record highs on Thursday, prompting some investors to look at other asset classes.
"The North Korea news has died down but it could come back at any time. I would be pretty cautious to go short from here. I'd rather think people will be bargain hunters below $1,300," said Yuichi Ikemizu, Tokyo branch manager at CIBC Standard Bank.
In other precious metals, silver rose 0.5 percent to at $16.66 an ounce.
Palladium added 0.6 percent to $927.25 an ounce after moving last week to a premium over sister metal platinum, which slipped 0.4 percent to $908.65 an ounce.
"The overall direction of that spread will be determined by gold, whether it manages to find support," Hansen said.
"If it does, platinum has potential for better upside than palladium given the higher correlation between gold and platinum."
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