Gold pared gains on Thursday after stronger-than-expected U.S. data lifted the dollar and impetus from Chinese buying petered out, but it remained higher after the Federal Reserve indicated this week that it was in no rush to raise interest rates.
The dollar rose against a currency basket as data on U.S. durable goods orders in January beat forecasts, boosting confidence in business activity despite worries of the recent surge in the dollar hurting exports.
That weighed on gold, which is priced in the U.S. unit.
Spot gold was up 0.3 percent at $1,207.90 an ounce at 1503 GMT. Earlier it hit a session high of $1,220.00, before retreating as the dollar firmed.
“The market feels a bit top heavy,” MKS head of trading Afshin Nabavi said. “We’ve had good buying of physical gold from the Far East as China opened up after the Lunar Week holiday, but above $1,210-1,212, that stopped.”
Gold prices have fallen around 10 percent over the last year, largely due to the prospect of higher U.S. rates, which would increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion, while boosting the dollar.