Gold is mixed ahead of the announcement of U.K. annual budget

Gold returns now to trade narrowly within a tight range after the sharp decline triggered yesterday by the strengthening U.S. dollar, which keeps on forcing downside pressures on metals and commodities in general to trade lower, led by the yellow metal and crude oil.

Gold added so far 0.51% or $8.48 per ounce after the opening of $1650.78 per ounce to currently trade around $1659.26 per ounce. The metal recorded so far a high of $1659.75 and a low of $1645.50 per ounce.

The focus returns to Europe once again with investors have their eyes focused on the United Kingdom and the budget announcement expected at 12:30 GMT today, with expectations the Chancellor of Exchequer might present new adjustments to budget including a tax-cut targeting those who earn more than 150,000 pound annually.

Gold is fluctuating heavily ahead of U.K.'s budget announcement and also ahead of the Bank of England Minutes, where investors will be tracking whether Adam Posen and David Miles are still calling on other lawmakers to expand the capacity of the assets purchases program (APF) or any of the Monetary Policy Committee members joined them and responded to their calls.

However, the main focus as mentioned we earlier will be on 2012 budget-announcement, where markets are wondering how British lawmakers will allocate government spending and adjust the budget to balance between boosting growth and trimming deficit.

With the lack of major fundamentals from Europe and the world's largest economy today, the United Kingdom pulls all the attention, where in terms of critical economic data; the royal economy will provide markets will government debt figures today, where the report consists of public finance, PSNB ex interventions and the public sector net borrowing figures are expected to reflect surplus in February, especially when the exchange rate of the sterling pound almost settled after the incline seen in January.

In general, we expect metals to remain volatile during the session today, with expectation gold might rebound to the upside in case optimism returned to European markets once again after the United Kingdom budget announcement and also after the Bank of England Minutes.

Among other precious metals, silver added today around 0.70% or $0.23 per ounce, trading in the moment around $32.37, compared with the opening of $32.14 an ounce. The metal set so far the highest at $32.39 and the lowest at $32.03.

Platinum added 0.23% or $3.88 an ounce, hovering currently around $1659.75 per ounce. The metal started the session at $1655.87 per ounce and recorded a high of $1662.88 and a low of $1648.50.

Palladium advanced 0.94% or $6.50 per ounce o $699.50 per ounce, recording the highest at $699.75 and the lowest at $690.00, noting that the metal started the session today at $690.00 per ounce.