Gold futures ticked up amid a wave of short covering, even as Chinese manufacturing data slumped to fresh six-and-a-half year lows exacerbating concerns of a forthcoming recession in the world’s second-largest economy. On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold for December delivery traded between $1,121.00 and $1,133.50, before settling at $1,131.70, up 7.00 or 0.62% on the day. With the modest gains, the precious metal halted a three-day losing streak prompted by indications from the Federal Reserve that it could raise short-term interest rates by the end of 2015. Still, gold futures are down by more than 2.25% over the last month of trading when they peaked above $1,165.00 an ounce in late-August. Gold likely gained support at $1,098.20, the low from Sept. 11 and was met with resistance at $1,160.10, the high from Aug. 23. In overnight trading, the Flash China Caixin Manufacturing Purchasing Index, a preliminary gauge of Chinese factory activity, fell to 47.0 in September, marking its lowest level in 78 months. New orders dipped by 0.6 to 46.0, while new export orders plummeted 0.8 to 45.8. Analysts expected the index to tick up slightly to 47.5 from a final reading of 47.3 in August. The regression in manufacturing activity in September represents the seventh straight month of monthly declines. Any reading below 50 provides signals of imminent contraction.