Gold inches higher Thursday

As the European session commenced, gold prices have gained slightly on data released by the U.S. that suggested further improvement in conditions, especially in the labor sector as the private payrolls showed that ability of the sector to add nearly 200 thousand jobs last month.

The report arrives ahead of the infamous jobs report that will be released Friday. Debt woes continue to mount in Europe, accordingly, affecting the ability of the region's economies to report strong fundamentals that would support global recovery.

Gold dropped as demand for save haven and safe assets depreciated, nonetheless, the metal gained slightly ahead of the European session Thursday where gold for immediate delivery traded at 1,379.00 an ounce, setting a high of 1,379.75 an ounce and a low of 1,373.75 an ounce. This is compared with the opening levels of 1,378.07 an ounce. Gold futures (February contracts) gained 0.33 percent as it added $4.500 to trade at 1,378.200 an ounce.

The U.S. dollar traded at the opening levels on the U.S. dollar index, which tracks the performance of the dollar against six-majors, at 80.28, while setting a high of 80.29 and a low of 80.21.

Major Market Movers

Today's economic calendar holds important data from Europe where the confidence indicators will be presented by the 17-nation economies with expectations for further improvement in confidence, despite the debt woes and challenges that still faces these economies especially after various government's in the region has implemented spending cuts and budget overhauls to put a cap on the swelling debt.

Tomorrow's data are important as well, with Germany releasing its trade balance report, which is the main driver of recovery in the region, furthermore, the euro-zone will present its growth figures for the third quarter of 2010 and the U.S. will present its labor data figures with expectations that the economy managed to add 140.0 thousand jobs during December, according to market's estimates of the nonfarm payrolls.

Other Metals

Silver sales are forecasted to rise in the upcoming period, as investors seek protection from inflation and wealth from the volatility they face in FX-exchange markets.

Silver for immediate delivery traded higher on the daily scale, at 29.38 an ounce, compared with the opening levels of 29.23, while touching a high of 29.55 an ounce and a low of 29.20 an ounce. Silver future contracts added 0.64% or $0.187 to its value, trading at 29.385 an ounce.

Platinum for immediate delivery gained by $13.50 to trade at $1,732.00 an ounce, Palladium added by $4.00 to trade at $774.00 an ounce.

Technical Analysis for Gold

The metal achieved a breakout below the major support line, signaling that more bearish actions could be witnessed over intraday basis.A break of 1361.00 will activate a bearish classical pattern but there is a technical obstacle as RSI is showing oversold signs and that may cause a huge fluctuation. At the same time, as far as trading remains below 1406.00, the bearish outlook remains valid.