Gold settled at a three-month high on Thursday, breaking above $1,300 after disappointing U.S. economic figures further hurt the dollar and equity markets.
U.S. retail sales fell 0.4 percent in January, led by a drop in automobile sales, against an expected 0.2 percent increase. Separately, initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose to a seasonally adjusted 339,000 from 331,000 the week before, and against a consensus fall to 330,000.
U.S. gold futures for April delivery ended $5.10 higher at $1,300.10 an ounce.
Spot gold rose to $1,300.35 an ounce, its highest since Nov. 8 earlier, and was last up 0.6 percent at $1,299 an ounce.
"The short-term drivers seem supportive for gold because we had quite a lot of weak U.S. data over the past few weeks,'' ABN Amro commodity analyst Georgette Boele said.
"The technical picture is also looking more optimistic, and people are looking to buy on dips,'' she added. "But that does not mean that I'm all of sudden positive on gold, I remain negative in the medium term as I expect the U.S. economy to recover and the dollar to rally.''