Gold ends higher around $1,332 as dollar retreats

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Gold prices settled higher on Thursday due to a steady dollar, but remained well below the previous day's four-month high as buyers of coins, bars and jewelry in Asian markets held off in expectation of a further price drop.

The U.S. currency fell below a two-week high against a basket of major currencies, paring earlier gains as a better-than-expected read on U.S. durable goods offset a rise in weekly jobless claims.

Concerns over the future of Ukraine had helped the dollar to its biggest one-day rise in about a month, prompting gold selling after the metal hit its highest since Oct. 30 in Asian trading hours.

Chart: Precious Metals

Spot gold was last down 0.3 percent to $1,328 an ounce, well off that session's high of $1,345.35 an ounce.

U.S. gold futures for April delivery settled 0.3 percent higher at $1,331.80 an ounce.

A spate of below-consensus U.S. data has curbed expectations that the Federal Reserve will step up tapering of its bullion-friendly monthly bond-buying program, which prompted much of last year's fall in gold prices.

Gold has risen more than 10 percent this year on uncertainty over the pace of the U.S. economic recovery, worries about growth in China and renewed interest in bullion-backed exchange-traded funds.

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