Gold edges above $1,160/oz as dollar softens

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LONDON (Nov 13): Gold edged higher on Thursday as a softer tone to the dollar helped support prices, though continued outflows from bullion-backed funds showed investor sentiment remained weak as other assets rose.

The metal has seen an intense sell-off since Oct. 31, sliding below the key technical level of $1,180 to a 4-1/2-year low at $1,131.85. It has since recovered modestly on short-covering.

Spot gold was up 0.1 percent at $1,161.85 an ounce at 1021 GMT, while U.S. gold futures for December delivery were up $2.10 an ounce at $1,161.20.

The dollar was down 0.2 percent against the euro on Thursday, while European stocks were 0.4 percent higher.

U.S. weekly jobless claims are due later in the day, and may provide clues about the pace of economic recovery. That is being watched for its influence on the Federal Reserve's decision on when to raise interest rates.

A run of relatively firm data has raised expectations that U.S. rates will rise sooner rather than later, pressuring non-yielding gold.

"We are expecting some more weakness in gold before year end, as we see interest rate expectations being played out," ABN Amro analyst Georgette Boele said.

"Every time prices move up, they come under pressure," she added. "For now, gold is really waiting for a new driver."

Holdings in the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, SPDR Gold Shares, fell 1.8 tonnes to 722.67 tonnes on Wednesday, the seventh straight day of declines.

Some support was offered by buying of physical gold in China overnight, dealers said.

However, the World Gold Council reported on Thursday that Chinese demand fell heavily in the third quarter, with jewellery demand down 39 percent and bar and coin buying 30 percent lower. That helped knock global demand 2 percent lower.

Silver was up 0.5 percent at $15.71 an ounce, while spot platinum was up 0.5 percent at $1,203.25 an ounce and spot palladium was up 0.6 percent at $774.30 an ounce.

Data from major producer South Africa showed platinum group metals output there fell 17.6 percent in October.