Gold fluctuates with the start of a new week, ahead of manufacturing data from Europe and U.S.

Gold returns to fluctuate heavily with the start of a new week after recording slight gains on Friday and in the past week, where the metal continues to be volatile on mixed sentiment in the market and also on mixed U.S. dollar, especially as investors are still weighing the results of the euro zone finance ministers' meeting on Friday and Saturday.

Gold started the session today at $1668.36 per ounce and added after then 0.06% or $1.02 per ounce to currently hover around $1669.38 per ounce. The metal recorded a high of $1676.80 and a low of $1667.68 an ounce.

The euro zone finance ministers agreed on Friday to boost the firepower of the European rescue fund by combining the European Financial Stability Facility with the permanent European Stability Mechanism, creating a firewall of 700 billion euros, the thing that boosted optimism in the market and supported the metal to recover the losses incurred over weekly basis to post slight gains.

European finance ministers joined the euro zone finance ministers on Saturday to discuss how to shield weak European banks from failing; however, the details are still unknown, yet ministers are split over creating a common fund or creating a national resolution fund to support banks. Furthermore, European officials also discussed creating new legislation that would ensure bank shareholders and creditors pay once a bank fail, rather than taxpayers.

As we mentioned earlier details are still unclear, while investors are still weighing the impact of the new discussions made; however, with the lack of confirmations volatility remains evident in the market, while jitters and debt concerns are still threatening the euro and the metal as investors flee to the U.S. dollar in order to avert as much risk as possible.

Moreover, markets are moving violently within a narrow range awaiting the critical and heavy load of fundamentals from Europe and the U.S. today, where markets are waiting manufacturing data from major economies for more signs over the global slowdown, with expectations the sentiment might deteriorate further in case the actual readings missed estimates.

The focus remains on Europe and the U.S., where investors are still searching for signs of recession in Europe in general as some nations started to slip back into another phase of deep recession, led by Spain which threatens the efforts made by European lawmakers to calm the debt-concerns.

In the world's largest economy, investors are tracking the development in the ISM manufacturing with fears the reading might miss estimates after the Feds chairman clarified that further stimulus is needed to support the pace of recovery to continue.

Among other precious metals, silver added so far 0.90% or $0.29 per ounce to $32.56 per ounce after the opening of $32.27 per ounce. The metal reached so far a high of $32.62 and a low of $32.34 per ounce.

Platinum gained as well, adding 0.35% or $5.63 per ounce to $1644.88 per ounce, after the opening of $1639.25 per ounce. The metal set the highest at $1650.25 and the lowest at $1640.50 per ounce.

Palladium on the other hand shed 0.06% or $0.38 per ounce, reaching now around $654.00 per ounce. The metal started the day at $654.38 per ounce and recorded so far a high of $655.88 and a low of $652.25 per ounce.