"Precious metals opened with gains this morning as market participants were hard at work trying to repair at least part of the substantial damage that was incurred on Wednesday," said Jon Nadler, senior metals analyst with Kitco Metals. "A knee-jerk reaction was to be expected after such a rout, but there is still apprehension in the pits related to margin calls, a change in open interest, and the upcoming 'slow' seasonal period in gold (extending up to May/June)." Mixed U.S. economic data was also keeping prices in check. Initial jobless claims fell 2,000 to 351,000 during the week ended Feb. 25 from a revised 353,000 in the previous week, according to a Labor Department report. Claims data met analysts' expectations according to Thomson Reuters. The four-week moving average fell 5,500 to 354,000 from a revised 359,500. The Institute for Supply Management reported that its manufacturing index dropped to 52.4 in February. While the data showed that manufacturing is still expanding, it missed expectations for a reading of 54.5, according to economists polled by Thomson Reuters. The index came in at 54.1 in the prior month. The Commerce Department's reading on construction spending dropped 0.1% in January for the first time in six months. Economists polled by Thomson Reuters expected it to tick 1% higher, adding to a 1.5% rise the prior month. Personal incomes rose 0.3% to $37.4 billion in January according to a Commerce Department report, falling just short of expectations of a 0.4% rise according to analysts polled by Thomson Reuters. Personal spending rose 0.2% to $23.2 billion for the month, again falling short of expectations of a 0.3% increase. Mining stocks were modestly higher Thursday. Among the biggest gainers were Jaguar Mining ( JAG), up 2.9% to $6.34, and Goldcorp ( GG), adding 2% to $49.50. First Majestic Silver ( AG), was gaining 2% to $20.87, and Freeport-McMoRan ( FCX) was up 1.9% to $43.37. -- Written by Ross Tucker in New York. >To contact the writer of this article, click here: Ross Tucker. >To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/rosstucker. >To submit a news tip, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.