NEW YORK ( TheStreet ) -- Gold prices shrugged off a stronger U.S. dollar Thursday and broke through key technical levels. Gold for April delivery added $9.80 to close at $1,759.30 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The gold price has traded as high as $1,763.80 and as low as $1,743.30 an ounce while the spot price was adding $13, according to Kitco's gold index. Silver prices rose 36 cents to close at $34.17 an ounce while the U.S. dollar index was slightly higher at $78.87.
Spain and France raised 4.5 billion euros and almost 8 billion euros, respectively, with lower yields at mixed demand. The dollar climbed on the news and was also supported by encouraging weekly jobless claims. Those filing for unemployment claims fell to 367,000 for the week ending January 28th, which was slightly better than expected. The market is now gearing up for the Labor Department's latest read on the jobs picture Friday when it releases January's unemployment data. The jobless rate is supposed to fall slightly to 8.4%, according to Briefing.com, while the private sector is supposed to add 250,000 jobs. A good number can mean a rush into riskier assets like stocks, which means investors leave the safety of the dollar, which in turn helps gold, but on the flip side gold might lose some of its shine as a safe haven asset. Any signs, however, that the job market is improving faster than previously expected might stir up rumors that the Federal Reserve would raise interest rates sooner than its target date of late 2014. If the Fed embarks on any monetary tightening, that would be negative for gold. If the number disappoints, the dollar could rise, which would weigh on gold prices, but it would also back up the Fed's case that the economy is still weak and that looser monetary policy is needed. The longer rates stay at zero the more profitable it is to own gold. "The opportunity cost for holding gold is zero ... when the rate on short term money is zero," says Leo Larkin, metals and mining analyst at S&P Capital IQ, "