Commodity Online

NEW YORK: Gold prices also went up ahead of a US employment report and recorded well above $ 900 an ounce in New York on Wednesday.

The precious yellow metal rose to $US902.50/903.30 an ounce from $US898.00/898.80 an ounce when the metal jumped more than 1% after oil surged almost $US4, boosting its appeal as a hedge against inflation.

Friday's US employment report is expected to show the economy shed jobs in March for a third straight month.

Other precious metals also firmed, with platinum rising more than 1 percent as worries about supplies lingered in main producer South Africa.

The Fed has cut its benchmark interest rate six times since September, bringing it to 2.25% from 5.25%. Lower rates boost gold's appeal as an alternative investment.

Gold futures for June delivery on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange added $US6.6 an ounce to $US906.8 an ounce.

Spot platinum rose to $US1,968/1,978 an ounce from $US1,942/1,952 an ounce. Platinum extended gains on worries that South Africa's power crisis, which had disrupted mining, may last many years unless electricity demand reduced.

Despite the gains, platinum remained below a record of $US2290 hit on March 4. The most active Tokyo platinum futures firmed 125 yen per gram to 6,389 yen.

Silver edged up to $US17.38/17.43 an ounce from $US17.17/17.22 an ounce. Spot palladium rose to $US443/448 an ounce from $US436/441 an ounce.

Gold has rebounded more than 3% since falling to a two month low of $US872.90 on Tuesday, but it was still well below a record high of $US1030.80 hit on March 17.