- Gold prices bounced off an eight-day low struck in the previous session on Thursday, as market players looked ahead to the release of key U.S. data later in the session for further indications on the strength of the economy and the need for stimulus.

The U.S. is to release its weekly report on initial jobless claims and private sector data on existing home sales.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold for June delivery rose 0.56%, or $7.20, to trade at $1,295.30 a troy ounce during European morning hours.

Prices held in a tight range between $1,290.20 and $1,296.70 an ounce. Gold tumbled to $1,282.90 on Wednesday, the lowest since May 12, before settling at $1,288.10, down 0.5%, or $6.50.

Gold prices were likely to find support at $1,277.00 an ounce, the low from May 12 and resistance at $1,305.70, the high from May 19.

Gold ended Wednesday’s session lower after minutes of the Federal Reserve’s April policy meeting revealed that policymakers agreed that the time has come to discuss ways to wrap up its monetary stimulus program.

The minutes reiterated that rate hikes are not on the drawing board yet, as no inflationary risks have become evident due to ultra-loose policies.

Meanwhile, ongoing tensions between Russia and Ukraine remained in focus. Ukraine will hold presidential elections on May 25, and concerns persist that Russia will meddle in the voting and escalate the crisis.

U.S. and European officials have already warned that Russia would face additional sanctions if Moscow disrupts the upcoming elections.

Elsewhere in metals trading, silver for July delivery rallied 1.04%, or 20.2 cents, to trade at $19.54 a troy ounce, while copper for July delivery inched up 0.42%, or 1.3 cents, to trade at $3.136 a pound.

Data released earlier showed that the preliminary reading of China’s HSBC manufacturing index rose to a five-month high of 49.7 this month, up from a final reading 48.1 in April.

The Asian nation is the world’s largest copper consumer, accounting for almost 40% of world consumption last year.

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