NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Gold prices were firming Tuesday on improved risk appetite and a weaker U.S. dollar.

Gold for April delivery was rising $15.40 to $1,133.70 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices were trading as high as $1,136.50 and a low as $1,115. The U.S. dollar index was slipping by 0.04% to $80.63.

Gold was trading firmly over $1,100 an ounce as bargain hunters supported prices. Risk appetite grew as a Greek bailout started to take shape, a slew of M&A activity buoyed markets and relatively positive economic data increased investor demand for riskier commodities.

Gold Prices Firm

Analysts expect gold to trade in a tight range as investors look to a Greek cabinet meeting Wednesday, when officials will discuss harsher financial measures. Greece has already implemented tax hikes and spending cuts, but the EU is pressuring the country to institute even more before pledging a massive amount of financial aid. The health of the euro as well as investors' risk tolerance hinges in part on what happens in Greece. Traders will also stay relatively cautious headed into Friday's U.S. nonfarm payroll report as rising unemployment will hinder hopes of a sustained economic recovery.

"Overall gold appear s comfortable in recent ranges ($1,080-$1,130)," says James Moore, analyst at, in his daily metals report. "Traders and investors will look for clarity on the broader macroeconomic picture and in particular what, if any deal or rescue package for Greece is agreed by the EU."

Silver prices were popping 41 cents to $16.88 while copper was up 5 cents at $3.40. The base metal rose more than 2% Monday as the earthquake in Chile, the world's largest copper producer, prompted fears of a supply crunch. Most mines have resumed production.

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Mining stocks, a more leveraged way to invest in gold, were stronger. Barrick Gold ( ABX) was rising 3.17% to $39.66 while Newmont Mining ( NEM) was higher at $57.78. Other large-cap miners Kinross Gold ( KGC) and Goldcorp ( GG) were trading over 2% higher at $19.07 and $39.33, respectively.

Shares of Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold ( FCX) were rising 1.52% to $77.61 while Southern Copper ( SCCO) was slipping 0.37% to $29.97.

SPDR Gold Shares ( GLD) was rising 1.53% to $110.98.

-- Written by Alix Steel in New York.
Alix joined TV in February 2007. Previously, she held positions in film and theater production, management, and legal administration. Alix has a degree in communications and theater from Northwestern University.