Gold Prices Hang Onto Gains

CHARLOTTE, N.C. ( TheStreet) -- Gold prices continued rising Tuesday after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said last week he was open to the idea of a fresh round of quantitative easing.

Gold for December delivery was gaining $5.30 to $1,692.90 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The gold price traded as high as $1,699.60 and as low as $1,687.60 an ounce, while the spot price was dipping $1.70, according to Kitco's gold index.

"We're holding up pretty good, the market is still resilient. All focus is now shifting to the unemployment report and also on Thursday the European Central Bank is expected to announced more details on its proposed bond-buying program," said Phil Streible, senior commodities broker at RJO Futures.

Silver prices for December delivery were adding 75 cents to $32.20 an ounce, while the U.S. dollar index 0.1% to $81.29.

Gold futures soared on Friday to settle up $30.50 as investors viewed the yellow metal as a safe haven of sorts in light of the Fed's possibly monetary stimulus, which would boost inflation concerns.

The ECB's meeting on Thursday could prompt another bump higher if the eurozone's central bankers decide to implement a significant round of easing.

Streible said that for the days leading up to Thursday, gold would likely trade in a tight range with $1,700 an ounce being the upper resistance of the range.

To finish the week, gold investors will look to the United States' monthly unemployment situation, which has been a critical component that Bernanke and others have said they would tightly monitor when considering the possibility of so-called QE3.

Gold traders may also keep an eye on Tuesday's ISM Manufacturing Index to get a sense of the health of the U.S. industrial sector. A consensus of economist estimates a reading of 50.0, which would put the index right on the number that suggests the sector is expanding. Last month's ISM number was 49.8, which suggested a slight contraction.

For now, though, gold on Thursday has hung onto its 2012 highs as more easing may wait ahead.

-- Written by Joe Deaux in Charlotte, N.C.

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