NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Gold prices were tiptoeing higher Wednesday as risk appetite for commodities improved. Gold for April delivery was rising $5.50 to $1,142.90 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gold has traded as high as $1,145.80 and as low as $1,132.80. The U.S. dollar index was slipping 0.77% to $79.87. Investors' risk appetite supported gold prices after a less-negative ADP unemployment report. ADP said the private sector lost 20,000 jobs in February, which was in line with expectations and is an improvement from January's 60,000 job losses. Traders are still relatively cautious headed into Friday's U.S. nonfarm payroll report, which is tempering gold's upside. Also helping risk sentiment was news from Greece that the country will implement more severe money-saving measures totaling $4.8 billion euros or $6.54 billion. The aggressive actions, unpopular with the public, include a rise in VAT and a cut in state salary bonuses. The EU is pressuring Greece to dramatically reduce its debt levels before any European financial aid is pledged. "We have seen risk sentiment improve," argues Nicholas Brooks, head of research and investment strategy for ETF Securities. "Investors are starting to feel a little bit more comfortable about the situation in Greece. Some of the macro data out recently, particularly on the employment front, is a little better ... and we
saw the dollar come off a bit after its recent strength and that is driving up ... the metals ... I do think it's possible that this year we could see gold move back through to a new high" Silver prices were rising 21 cents to $17.27 while copper prices were up 1 cent to $3.42. Mining stocks, a more leveraged way to invest in gold, were firmer. Barrick Gold ( ABX) was rising 2.20% to $40.34, while Newmont Mining ( NEM) was higher by 1.04% to $52.24. Shares of Goldcorp ( GG) were up over 2.50% to $40.24 after the stock received an upgrade at Canaccord Adams from hold to buy. Kinross Gold ( KGC) was rising 1.64% to $19.26. Shares of Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold ( FCX) were up 2.35% to $79.81 while AngloGold Ashanti ( AU) was rising 2.46% to $37.89.