Gold edged higher on Thursday, supported by the retreating U.S. dollar and a tumble in global equities as traders awaited U.S. employment data seen as key to determining when the Federal Reserve may raise interest hikes.

U.S. non-farm payrolls data are due on Friday and economists polled by Reuters predict employment in July increased at the same pace as June’s 223,000 rise.

Spot gold was up 0.5 percent at $1,090.11 an ounce by 1759 GMT (1:59 p.m. EST). The metal breached important technical support at $1,100 after a deep rout in late July pushed it as low as $1,077, its weakest since February 2010.

U.S. gold for December delivery rose 0.4 percent to settle at $1,090.10 an ounce.

Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell to 21.47 million ounces on Wednesday, the lowest since September 2008.

In other metals, spot palladium gained 1.1 percent to $597.25 an ounce, as platinum rose 0.4 percent to $951 per ounce, not far from a 6-1/2 year low hit earlier in the week. Silver was up 1 percent at $14.67 an ounce.

Source : Reuters