"We believe that the Fed won't be able to raise rates until later in the year and even then the central bank will only be able to raise rates twice, a path that is still more aggressive than what the market has priced in," said Royce Mendes, director and senior economist at CIBC Capital Markets in Toronto.
Expectations that U.S. rates will stay lower for longer have sharpened appetite for the metal.
"Even those who felt that rates were too low to effectively respond to downside shocks agreed that waiting was prudent," said Tai Wong, director of base and precious metals trading for BMO Capital Markets in New York, referring to the Fed minutes.
"It's abundantly clear that the Fed is on hold until at least June which should cheer risky assets and provide no impediment to gold continuing its recent rise."
Speculation has increased in recent days that the U.S. central bank might resort to negative interest rates to stimulate the economy after Fed Chair Janet Yellen said last week it was an option.
Ultra-low rates, which cut the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding gold, were a key factor driving prices to record highs in 2011.