- Gold prices edged up in Asia early Wednesday in cautious buying after mixed U.S. economic data.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold for June delivery traded at $1,281.30 a troy ounce, up 0.10%.

Overnight, the Institute for Supply Management reported earlier that its manufacturing purchasing managers'' index rose to 53.7 in March from 53.2 in February, missing market expectations for a 54.0 reading.

The report showed that employment growth slowed, with the employment index falling to 51.1 from 52.3, the lowest level since June 2013.

The numbers weakened the dollar earlier, as investors avoided the greenback ahead of Friday''s March jobs report, which many feel may depict and improving albeit sluggish U.S. economy, one still in need of Federal Reserve stimulus support.

The Fed is currently purchasing $55 billion in bonds a month to spur recovery, a monetary policy tool known as quantitative easing that suppresses interest rates to prop up the economy, weakening the dollar as a side effect, thus bolstering gold''s appeal as a hedge.

Upon digesting the data, however, investors viewed the PMI numbers as positive, as March marked the second month of gains for the indicator, which weakened gold by keeping expectations firm that stimulus programs that have supported gold for years are on their way out.

Elsewhere on the Comex, silver for May delivery rose 0.46% to $19.778 a troy ounce, while copper for May delivery gained 0.26% and trading at $3.048 a pound.

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