MTECHTIPS- Gold prices ticked higher in European hours on Thursday, holding in a familiar range as markets awaited testimony from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen later in the day. Gold for December delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange tacked on $3.10, or 0.25%, to $1,227.00 a troy ounce by 3:52 AM ET (08:52 GMT). It posted a small decline of less than 0.1% the day before. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen is due to testify on the economic outlook before the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee on Thursday at 10:00 AM ET (15:00 GMT). Her comments will be monitored closely for any new insight on policy. The Fed left interest rates unchanged earlier this month, in a widely expected decision, but signaled it could hike in December as the economy gathers momentum and inflation picks up. Besides Yellen, there is important data Thursday. CPI, housing starts, the Philly Fed survey and weekly jobless claims are all due at 8:30 AM ET (13:30 GMT). Investors are currently pricing an 86% chance of a rate hike at the Fed’s December 13-14 meeting, according to Investing.com’s Fed Rate Monitor Tool. The precious metal is sensitive to moves in U.S. rates, which lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion, while boosting the dollar in which it is priced. The greenback hovered close to the prior session’s 14-year high against a basket of major currencies early on Thursday, supported by expectations of higher interest rates in the coming months.