Even as gold holds to its current levels, a slew of data in Europe and the US due on Thursday besides the European Central Bank meet will decide the course the yellow metal will take, over the next few sessions.

Data on US payrolls due on Friday will also help investors take decisions.

As such, gold in the domestic spot and futures market could edge higher but prices could be held on leash, awaiting signals from markets abroad.

ECB meet, US data

On Thursday, Germany will come out with its data on factory output and the Bank of England will make known its policy decision. This will be followed by the European Central Bank announcing its policy on interest rates before the US releases its GDP data followed by data on jobless claims and consumer credit.

These should give a clear indication of how the economy is shaping up and whether the US Federal Reserve would have the courage to go ahead with the plan to cut the $85-billion-a-month stimulus programme.

Currently, the US Federal Reserve seems to be a little unclear on how go about paring the package, according to experts.

A Federal Reserve official, on the other hand, has called for the continuation of the package.

One positive sign for gold that emerged overnight was the rise in holdings in exchange-traded funds. Gold holdings in SPDR Trust, the world largest gold exchange-traded fund, increased to 868.42 tonnes from 866.32 tonnes at the beginning of the week.

Spot gold, gold futures

In early Asian trade, spot gold ruled at $1,317.08 an ounce and gold December futures at $1,316.70.

In the domestic market on Wednesday, gold for jewellery (99.5 per cent purity) closed higher at Rs 30,645 for 10 gm and pure gold (99.9 per cent purity) at Rs 30,795.

On MCX and NCDEX, gold could continue ruling below Rs 30,000 for most part of the day.

Higher demand for crude oil

Crude oil could rise on data showing that demand in the US increased in September to a three-month high.

Brent crude for delivery in December ruled at $105.12 a barrel and US crude at $94.93.

Soyabean yield

The oils and oilseeds complex is likely to rule firm as soyameal demand is helping in soyabean prices rising. Though the US is expected to come out with a data showing higher soyabean yield, higher crushing there is supporting prices.

Lack of clear signals in India about its soyabean crop will also provide support. Reports of Brazil increasing bio-diesel blend to seven per cent could tend to support soyabean oil.

Chicago Board of Trade soyabean for delivery in January was quoted at $12.56 a bushel. Crude palm oil on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange opened higher at 2,561 ringgit or $805 a tonne.

Wheat, corn futures

Wheat and corn (industrial maize) are likely to be under pressure awaiting an upward revision of yield by the US. Wheat is also not getting the required buying support as some countries have placed orders lower than expected for imports. Australian wheat crop is also estimated to be higher, while offers from India and Brazil and exerting pressure.

Corn is facing pressure on a record production in the US and fears of a higher carry-over stock.

CBOT wheat for delivery in June dropped to $6.53 a bushel and corn for delivery the same month to $4.20 a bushel.