Gold stepped back from session highs early on Wednesday afternoon after positive US jobs figures gave risk appetite a shot in the arm while eurozone woes and geopolitical concerns continue.

Spot gold - which peaked at $1,381.60 this morning, just a shade off yesterday's week-and-a-half high - was last at $1,376.60/1,377.40, still $4.60 higher on the day. On the charts, having taken out resistance at $1,371 and $1,377, gold's next upside target stands at the all-time high of $1,424.60. Support is pegged at $1,356 and $1,333.

In the US, the latest weekly unemployment data surprised to the upside - 407,000 new applications were made last week, below the anticipated 434,000 and the previous week’s reading of 441,000. But durable goods orders fell 3.3 percent in October on the previous month when growth of 0.2 percent had been forecast - orders had risen five percent in September. New home numbers, HPI and University of Michigan consumer sentiment and inflation expectation figures are due later.

In the eurozone, Ireland is due to release its austerity budget later this afternoon after Prime Minster Cowen earlier confirmed that the Irish state was in discussion with the EU and IMF over an 85-billion-euro bailout. The euro - which fell to its cheapest since September 22 at 1.3284 this morning - erased losses after the data and was last at 1.3392, marginally up on the day. European equities remained up as risk aversion moderated further - the FTSE100, DAX and CAC40 were last 0.8 percent, 1.3 percent and 0.4 percent higher - while US futures were also set to open higher on Wall Street.

Precious metals followed in gold’s footsteps - silver was last at $27.39/27.44 per ounce, one cent lower and off an intraday high of $27.72. Platinum and palladium, at $1,662/1,668 and $690/695 per ounce, were $8 and $3 higher.


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