) --

Gold prices were gaining Thursday as optimism for stimulus from Europe and Asia grew on fresh reports.

Gold for December delivery was adding $13.50 to $1,715.10 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The

gold price traded as high as $1,718.90 and as low as $1,702.30 an ounce, while the spot price jumped $11.30, according to Kitco's gold index.

The Bank of Japan could be eying a new round of asset purchases amid data that has shown weakening Japanese exports and expectations that the central bank may have to cut growth forecasts,




Investors also gained more clarity for the possibility of a Spanish bailout request after Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's political party grabbed victory in Galicia. The win bolstered Rajoy's power to persuade Spanish officials of the need to request assistance from the European Central Bank.

Though gold settled lower on Wednesday, prices began to rise late Wednesday after the

Federal Reserve

reaffirmed its commitment to keep interest rates exceptionally low at least through 2015. The bank also reiterated its commitment to an open-ended term of $40 billion in monthly purchases of mortgage-backed securities.

The guidance remained positive for gold in the near- to long-term as the yellow metal serves as a hedge against inflationary policies. The Fed, though, has stated that it remains confident that its current easing programs would not significantly boost concerns of inflation.

Jon Nadler, a senior analyst for Kitco Metals, warned that funds that had loaded up on gold ahead of the Fed's quantitative easing announcement in September, are likely to sell in order to show profits to their investors.

"Bear in mind that the funds which had loaded up on a bunch of gold ahead of QE3 will now switch into year-end window-dressing mode as they need to show 'something' to their investors," Nadler wrote in a note.

Silver prices for December delivery was gaining 43 cents to $32.05 an ounce, while the

U.S. dollar index was increasing 0.03% to $79.98.

Gold mining stocks were mostly higher on Thursday. Shares of

Agnico-Eagle Mines

(AEM) - Get Report

were climbing 6.8%, while shares of



were rising 5%.

The highest volume trading among mining stocks included

Kinross Gold

(KGC) - Get Report

, up 0.83% on 2.8 million shares, and

Barrick Gold


, adding 1.9% on 2.7 million shares.

Gold ETF

SPDR Gold Trust

(GLD) - Get Report

was gaining 0.74%.

-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.

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