Gold advances ahead of the U.S. jobs report

As this week comes to an end, metals gained slight momentum despite the strengthening U.S. dollar; however, gold gained the most so far while other metals are weak and could reverse to the downside during the session today affected by the strong dollar and as investors are still weighing the Greek debt swap deal, awaiting the critical U.S. jobs report during the New York session.

Gold gained so far 0.19% of $3.30 per ounce to currently trade around $1703.02 per ounce after starting the session at $1699.72 per ounce. The metal set the highest at $1706.85 and the lowest at $1698.13 per ounce.

Gold, despite the gains recorded so far, is mixed today, where investors are holding more of the shiny metal as a hedge against uncertainty ahead of the critical U.S. jobs report, while demand on the other hand eased after inflation in China retreated to the lowest level in 20 months, adding to concerns that China which used to lead growth and recovery is now suffering from the global slowdown and the debt crisis in Europe.

The Chinese inflation eased beyond expectations to 3.2% from the previous of 3.4% in February opening the door for policy makers to add stimulus, the thing that reflected negative demand for the metal, which is known as the best hedge against rising prices or inflationary pressures.

At the flipside, holders of 85% Greek bonds agreed to join the largest debt swap deal in history, activating the Collective Action Clauses and forcing holders of around 95.7% of the Greek debt to exchange their existing Greek holdings with new issued longer-term bonds.

Markets are looking forward to the International Swaps and Derivatives Association, which is to meet today at 13:00 GMT in order to decide whether Greece has triggered a potential credit event or not.

Moreover, the euro zone finance ministers are to hold a teleconference today to decide whether Greece met international requirements or not and now to decide if the nation is eligible to obtain the 130 billion euros second bailout package approved last October.

The world's largest economy will release the closely watched jobs report today, noting that investors will track any development in the unemployment rate as the private and public sectors keep on providing positive signs of improvement in the labor sector.

But in general, we repeat that volatility and heavy fluctuations are expected to remain evident through the session today due to the heavy load of fundamentals and events awaited today, and as this week comes to an end.

Among other precious metals, silver was a little changed today, cutting so far 0.01% of $0.01 per ounce after the opening of $33.87 per ounce to trade in the moment around $33.86 per ounce. The metal recorded a high of $34.11 and a low of $33.74 per ounce.

Platinum recorded 0.28% or $5.00 of gains per ounce so far, after recording the highest at $1682.50 and the lowest at $1658.50 per ounce, to currently trade around $1668.00 compared with the opening level of $1663.00 per ounce.

Palladium shed 0.07% or $0.47 per ounce to $701.03 per ounce, after starting the day at $688.13 per ounce. The metal reached so far the highest at $703.50 and the lowest at $688.13 per ounce.