Gold rose to over $1,250 an ounce on Thursday as the dollar eased and equity markets retreated, sharpening appetite for the metal as an alternative asset, but moves were muted ahead of Friday's U.S. payrolls data.
The dollar extended losses after data showed a rise in U.S. jobless claims last week, though the underlying trend continued to point to a strengthening labor market. U.S. stocks opened lower, while European shares fell 0.6 percent.
Market participants largely stuck to the sidelines however ahead of the U.S. non-farm payrolls report for February. Payrolls are estimated to have risen by 190,000 last month, according to a Reuters poll of economists.