NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- New York spot gold prices are rising in midday trading following warnings by Moody's Investors Services that the U.S. is at risk of losing its esteemed credit rating unless the country gets its fiscal affairs in order.

Spot gold prices are rising by $3.90, or 0.4% to $1,105.40 an ounce.

"Sovereign debt credit rating apprehensions once again arose in the markets as the mid-March sessions got underway worldwide," Kitco analyst Jon Nadler writes. "Such jitters lent fresh support to the precious metals complex overnight, however gains in gold were facing a stronger dollar, and the other side of the credit fears spectrum: that of China tightening in the near future."
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New York spot silver prices have risen by 3 cents, or 0.2% to $17.10 an ounce.
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New York spot platinum prices have risen by $8, or 0.5% to $1,613 an ounce, while its sister metal falls.
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New York spot palladium prices have dipped $3.00, or 0.7% to $458 an ounce.

Mining stocks, which offer another form of exposure to precious metals, are trading in negative territory. Newmont Mining ( NEM - Get Report) has fallen 1.3% to $49.40. The top gold producer says it believes gold prices will rise in 2010, supported, in part, by a shortage of selling from central banks, according to Bloomberg. Meanwhile, Kinross Gold ( KGC - Get Report) has tumbled 2% to $17.50 and Stillwater Mining ( SWC) tanks 8.2% to $13.

North American Palladium ( PAL), meanwhile, is falling 2.4% to $4.10 in midday trading.

-- Reported by Andrea Tse in New York

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