Investing.com - Gold futures edged higher during U.S. morning hours on Thursday, as U.S. markets remained closed for the Thanksgiving Day holiday, resulting in lower-than-usual volume.
On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for December delivery traded at USD1,730.75 a troy ounce during U.S. morning trade, up 0.4% on the day.
Prices traded in a tight range between USD1,728.25 a troy ounce, the daily low and a session high of USD1,732.45 a troy ounce.
Gold prices were likely to find support at USD1,704.55 a troy ounce, the low from November 15 and near-term resistance at USD1,737.95, the high from November 12.
Trade volumes were expected to remain light on Thursday, with COMEX floor trading scheduled to remain closed. An abbreviated session was slated for Friday.
Gold’s gains came as the U.S. dollar weakened against its major counterparts, as sentiment was boosted by encouraging manufacturing data from China and the euro zone and hopes that a deal on an aid payment for Greece is close.
Data released earlier in the day showed that Germany’s manufacturing purchasing managers’ index rose to 46.8 in November, up from 46.0 in October and better than forecasts for a reading of 45.9.
Meanwhile, the euro zone’s manufacturing PMI rose to 46.2 this month from 45.4 in October, above expectations for a reading of 45.6, while French factory data also improved more-than-expected.
The data came after a report earlier showed that China’s preliminary HSBC manufacturing PMI rose to 50.4 in November, up from a final reading of 49.5 in October.
It was the first expansion in manufacturing activity since September 2011, easing concerns over the growth outlook for the world’s second largest economy.
Also Thursday, Spain saw borrowing costs decline at an auction of three- and five-year government debt, as hopes for an imminent deal on an aid payment for Greece supported sentiment.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said an agreement to unlock a delayed bailout installment for Greece was still possible when euro zone finance ministers resume talks on Monday.
Talks between finance ministers and the International Monetary Fund ended without a deal on Tuesday, amid disagreements on how best to reduce the country’s debt to sustainable levels.
The dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback against a basket of six other major currencies, was down 0.3% to trade at 80.72, the lowest since November 9.
A weaker U.S. dollar usually pushes gold higher, as it boosts the metal's appeal as an alternative asset and makes dollar-priced commodities cheaper for holders of other currencies.
Elsewhere on the Comex, silver for December delivery jumped 1.3% to trade at a five-week high of USD33.35 a troy ounce, while copper for December delivery added 0.4% to trade at USD3.511 a pound.