Gold prices were little changed on Thursday as investors held back from placing big bets ahead of U.S. inflation data that may provide cues on further interest rate increases, with the outcome of U.S. midterm elections also on the radar.

Spot gold was steady at $1,707.29 per ounce by 1124 GMT, while U.S. gold futures fell 0.2% to $1,710.70.

"The uncertainty over the election outcome has offered some support to the safe-haven metal; on the other hand, CPI release is likely to provide more clarity over the pace of the Fed's rate hiking," said Ricardo Evangelista, senior analyst at ActivTrades.

The U.S. consumer price index (CPI) report for October is due at 1330 GMT. Economists expect core inflation to decline both on a monthly and annual basis.

Although gold is considered a hedge against inflation, it is highly sensitive to rising interest rates as they increase the opportunity cost of holding the non-yielding bullion.

Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari on Wednesday said it's "entirely premature" to discuss any pivot away from the Fed's current policy tightening, even as he appeared to endorse the possibility of adjusting the size of future rate hikes.

Gold prices have risen nearly $100 after data on Friday showed an uptick in the U.S. unemployment rate in October and lifted hopes the Fed would be less aggressive on rate hikes going forward.

Investors also took stock of the situation in the cryptocurrency markets, with bitcoin struggling to recover from a two-year low.

However, independent analyst Ross Norman said the recent collapse of bitcoin is unlikely to drive significant flows into the precious metals space. "These assets are cousins, not competitors," he added.

Elsewhere, silver rose 0.6% to $21.14 per ounce, while palladium fell 1.3% to $1,841.38.

Platinum added 0.7% to $992.33.

(Reporting by Arundhati Sarkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Mark Potter)