Gold up after Chinese PMI data, downside risk seen


Gold rose on Thursday as bullish Chinese manufacturing data boosted the nation's inflation-hedge appeal, but bullion's gains looked vulnerable as a better global economy and the Federal Reserve's planned scaling back of its stimulus program should weigh down prices.

Renewed labor unrest in South Africa, the world's top platinum producer and a major supplier of palladium, sent platinum group metals prices sharply higher. Bullion trade was choppy in below-average volume after data showed that U.S. jobless claims last week held near a six-year low and U.S. manufacturing activity rose this month, suggesting the economy is starting to find firmer footing.

China's Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), a closely watched survey of the country's manufacturers, showed that efforts by the world's second-largest economy to halt a slide in economic growth might be paying off.

Gold / US Dollar Spot

Spot gold rose 0.4 percent to $1,372 an ounce, having earlier risen as much as 1 percent. U.S. gold futures for December delivery settled 0.1 percent higher at $1,370.80.

On Wednesday, gold ended lower after seesawing, as the latest Fed minutes provided few clues about the timing of the U.S. central bank's tapering.

A sharp rise in U.S. Treasury yields, seen as a gauge of interest rates, weighed down on precious metals and equities across the board.

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