Gold rose nearly 3 percent on Tuesday, hitting its highest since late October, as cautious comments from U.S. Federal Reserve policymakers prompted a sharp pullback in the dollar.
Dennis Lockhart, head of the Atlanta Federal Reserve, said late on Monday he was in no rush to drop the Fed's pledge to keep interest rates near zero for a "considerable time," while San Francisco Fed chief John Williams said the phrase was still appropriate.
That sparked a retreat in the dollar, which fell 1.1 percent against a basket of currencies before paring losses. The greenback saw its biggest one-day drop against the yen in eight months.
Spot gold rose 2.9 percent to as high as $1,238.10 an ounce and was last at $1,227.90 an ounce, up 2.1 percent. U.S. gold futures closed up 3.1 percent at $1,232.00 an ounce.
"It's a combination of dollar weakness and a breakthrough of the 1,200 and 1,208 levels in quick succession," Mitsubishi analyst Jonathan Butler said. "The latter is the 61.8 percent retracement of (retreat from) the October high to the November low."