NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Gold prices were rising slightly Friday after a better than expected U.S. unemployment number.

Gold for April delivery was rising $3 to $1,136.10 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices have traded as high as $1,137.50 and as low as $1,127.50. The U.S. dollar index was rising 0.18% to $80.71.

Gold prices were higher Friday after the Labor Department reported that nonfarm payrolls lost 36,000 jobs in February vs. expectations of 63,000. The unemployment rate held at 9.7%, and this news increased investors' risk appetite for commodities, helping gold reverse earlier losses. However, prices were still lower as investors remained skittish. Today's better reading might prompt the Federal Reserve to raise key interest rates sooner than expected, which would pressure prices. Many economists have also been predicting that today's number would be better due to snowstorms,and a true reading might not be available until next month.

Currencies and commodities are also taking their cue from Greek's debt crisis. Massive protests erupted in Greece after the government announced spending cuts and tax hikes to ease its budget deficit. Prime Minister George Papandreou is meeting the German Chancellor Angela Merkel today to discuss European Union financial aid. As the EU's strongest economy, Germany's opinion holds a lot of weight in Greece's fate.

Many analysts expect gold prices to correct in the short term. "I think gold starting to march to its own drummer now," says David Morgan, founder of Silver-Investor.com. "It's very overbought on a short term basis ... gold might test the $1,080 level or so ... But I think that if we can get over today's level and stay there on big volume and stay there three days in a row, we're going higher."

Silver prices were rising 14 cents to $17.32 while copper prices were up 4 cents to $3.41.

Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com

Mining stocks, a more leveraged way to invest in gold, were higher along with broader equities. Barrick Gold ( ABX) was rising 1.71% to $40.48 while Newmont Mining ( NEM) was over 1% higher trading at $51.56.

Shares of NovaGold ( NG) had been tumbling 6.35% in premarket trading but then reserved losses and are currently rising 0.81% to $6.19. The company proposed an equity offering to raise $100 million to several funds managed by Paulson & Co. New Gold ( NGD) was trading up at $4.68 after the company reiterated 2010 gold production guidance to be between 330,000-360,000 ounces.

Lihir Gold ( LIHR) was rising 2.58% to $27.07. The company has agreed to sell its Ballarat project for $4.5 million to Castlemain Goldfields. Shares of Yamana Gold ( AUY) were down 0.94% to $10.51. The stock was downgraded at RBC Capital to sector perform from outperform after a disappointing quarter.

SPDR Gold Shares ( GLD) was rising 0.67% to $111.57.

-- Written by Alix Steel in New York.
Alix joined TheStreet.com 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.