Commodity Online

NEW YORK: Gold continued its upward journey Thursday as oil bounced from its early low and the US dollar weakened, after an initial rally by the currency.

Gold futures for June delivery on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange settled $US9.40, or 1%, to $US909.60 an ounce.

Spot gold was at $US903.40/904.20, up from $US898.00/898.70 late in New York on Wednesday, when it rose 1%.

Physical demand in India, the world's No. 1 gold consumer, might also help support prices.

Friday's US economy report, expected to show that the economy shed jobs in March for a third straight month, will be watched for clues about U.S. rate moves. Lower rates boost gold's appeal as an alternative investment, and vice versa.

Gold has rebounded almost 4% since falling to a two month low of $US872.90 on Tuesday, but it was still well below a record high of $US1,030.80 hit on March 17.

In other precious metals, platinum rose 2% on supply concerns, but stayed below a record $US2,290 hit on March 4.

Platinum rose to $US1,985/1,995 an ounce from its Wednesday U.S. close of $US1,942/1,952 on worries South Africa's power crisis, which has disrupted mining, may last many years unless electricity demand is reduced.

Silver rose to $US17.39 an ounce from its late New York finish of $US17.22, while palladium was essentially flat at $US436/441 an ounce. May silver rose US30 cents to $US17.48 an ounce.

June palladium rose $US3.65 to settle at $US447.40 an ounce, and the most active May copper contract climbed US2.4c to finish at $US3.9015 a pound.