The gold market has fallen back from early highs but continues to post solid gains midway through today's session. News that the European Central Bank will introduce a new bond-buying program led to some choppy and two-sided price action as many traders remain unconvinced that the program will be an effective way to stabilize peripheral EU debt problems. However, better than expected readings on US Initial Jobless Claims and a private survey of US non-manufacturing industries was widely seen to have revived macro-economic sentiment and gave December gold a significant boost. In addition, ongoing labor problems in the South African mining industry were also felt to be a key supportive factor for the market.

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