Commodity Online

TOKYO: Gold prices continued to gain on oil s surge along with a weak US dollar as banks investors and speculators began to purchase the yellow metal heavily.

Gold futures for June delivery on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange added $4.9 an ounce to $918.1 an ounce.

Silver tracked gold, while platinum extended gains on persistent worries about output in main producer South Africa, which accounts for 80 percent of the world's supply.

Gold jumped to $915.25/916.25 an ounce from $908.40/909.20 an ounce on Friday but was still 11 percent below a record of $1,030.80 ounce hit on March 17.

In addition to speculators, jewelers have been buying gold at the lows, helping the metal rebound from a two month low of $872.90 an ounce last week.

However, the dollar rallied against the yen on Monday, hitting a high of 102.68 yen on electronic trading platform EBS, due to buying from Japanese investors at the start of the new business year. The euro dipped to $1.5670.

The U.S. Labor Department on Friday said non farm employment fell by 80,000 jobs in March, the biggest drop in five years, while the jobless rate jumped to a 2 and frac12 year high of 5.1 percent, raising expectations of more rate cuts in April.

Spot platinum rose to $2,012/2,022 an ounce from $2,005/2,015 late in New York on Friday on supply problems in South Africa, where a power shortage had disrupted mining and sent prices to a record high at $2,290 on March 4.

Implats, the world's second biggest platinum producer, said South Africa did not boost its power allotment to 95 percent from 90 percent.The most active Tokyo platinum futures rose 131 yen per gram or 2 percent to 6,546 yen, reflecting a firm cash market.

Silver edged up to $17.86/17.91 an ounce from $17.77/17.82 an ounce. Spot palladium rose to $443/448 an ounce from $436/440 an ounce.