Gold heads for the fifth weekly advance ahead of non-farm payrolls report

The yellow metal is getting ready for the fifth consecutive weekly rise taking advantage of the slowdown in global recovery, led by the United States, which enhanced demand on bullions as store of value and safe haven.

Spot gold is trading at $1252.00 an ounce after recording a high of $1252.89 and a low of $1249.03.

Yesterday, gold added $6.90 or 0.55% to close at $1250.87 an ounce despite the improvement in US initial jobless claims and pending home sales.

Moreover, gold price was setin London on Thursday at $1248.50 per ounce inclining from $1247.75 during the AM fixing. However, SPDR gold trust, the world's largest exchange-traded fund backed by bullion, slipped to 1,294.91 metric tons yesterday from 1,304.03 on September 2.

Gold has gained last month on concerns from the United States and is still continuing its upside trend, to raise expectations that it may visit $1300 level soon after the breach of $1250.00, the highest level since June 28. However, the rise to $1250.00 may prompt investors to lock in profits and be cautios.

Despite the improvement seen in some US data this week, today's report is expected to show that unemployment will surge to 9.6% in August from 9.5% and employers have shed 100,000 jobs.

The previous day, the ECB kept interest rate unchanged at 1.00% andannounced it would keep non-standard measuresinto 2011. In addition, the governing council raised growth and inflation forecasts which boosted the euro against the dollar.

The dollar index, which tracks the dollar movements against a basket of major currencies, was little changed today after dropping for three consecutive sessions, where it is currently trading at 82.38 compared with the day's opening at 82.39.

Asian shares bounced today spurred by the upbeat US data, but the rise in stocks did not give an impetus to oil which inched down to $74.85 a barrel from yesterday's closing at $74.92.

Among other precious metals, platinum rose to $1553.20 from the opening price of $1550.50, palladium edged up to $522.70 from $519.70, and silver rallied to $19.62 from $19.53, as of 08:12 GMT.