(Gold story updated with price changes)
NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Gold prices have been firming as equity markets has begun taking back earlier gains while investors assess Thursday's mixed earnings reports and better-than-expected fall in initial jobless claims.

Kitco's Jim Wyckoff attributes the steady to firm prices to "a corrective bounce and consolidation from solid losses absorbed on Tuesday," when consumer confidence numbers came out looking glum. He also noted fresh buying from bargain-hunters since Tuesday's losses.

Gold for December delivery is rising $7.10 to $1,169.50 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The gold price Thursday has traded as high as $1,172 and as low as $1,161.60. The U.S. dollar index is falling 0.7% to $81.58** while the euro is rallying 0.7% to $1.31 vs. the dollar. The spot gold price Thursday was rising more than $5, according to Kitco's gold index.

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Initial jobless claims fell by 11,000 to a seasonally adjusted 457,000 for the week ending July 24, the Labor Department announced on Thursday. New claims were expected to remain steady at the prior week's pre-revised 464,000 figure, according consensus forecasts provided by Briefing.com.

Earlier Thursday, the equities were reversing losses, helped by Exxon Mobil's ( XOM) second-quarter earnings beat and the better-than-expected fall in initial jobless claims. Those gains scaled back later in the morning following mixed earnings reports.

On Wednesday, stocks ended in the red after the Federal Reserve's beige book revealed some cracks in the U.S. economic recovery. The anecdotal reports from the Fed's 12 districts -- released about two weeks before the next Federal Open Market Committee meeting and containing views that will help determine interest rates -- indicated only mostly modest economic improvement the 12 districts.

A fall in durable goods, reported on Wednesday as well, had also negatively impacted risk appetite.

The market's attention is now turning towards Friday's GDP figures, set to be released at 8:30 a.m.

Adrian Ash of BullionVault writes in his daily note that while physical gold investment in the continental European market has been quiet -- citing German-refinery Heraeus' head of sales, Wolfgang Wrzesniok-Rossbach -- demand in India has been quite strong over the past three days, according to a London dealer.

The World Gold Council said that in the second quarter, many assets, including global equities and commodities, experienced a period of pronounced volatility, in some instances surpassing levels seen during the first quarter of 2009.

The Council said that gold price volatility, however, remained much lower than many of these assets during the period, meaning that gold outperformed compared with the S&P 500 Total Return Index, the MSCI World ex US Index and S&P Goldman Sachs Commodities Index (S&P GSCI) on a risk-adjusted basis.

Silver prices were up 19 cents to $17.63 while copper prices was up 4 cents at $3.29.

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Gold mining stocks, a more risky but more profitable way to invest in gold, were rising against the broader equities. Barrick Gold ( ABX) was rising 1.4% to $40.57 while Yamana Gold ( AUY) was increasing 0.5% to $9.26 and AngloGold Ashanti ( AU) was rising by 0.2% to $39.79.

-- Reported by Andrea Tse in New York

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