Gold was near three-week highs on Thursday as a recovery in the dollar prompted some buyers to cash in gains after the previous day's sharp rally, though the outlook for U.S. interest rates offered support.
The metal surged 1.5 percent on Wednesday after below-consensus U.S. payrolls data and dovish comments from Janet Yellen, chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve, dampened expectations of an imminent rate hike. Meanwhile, billionaire George Soros told the Wall Street Journal that he bought gold and gold miners, on sentiments echoed by fellow billionaire investor Carl Icahn.
Gold is highly sensitive to rising interest rates, which lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion while boosting the dollar, in which it is priced. The GDX was last up about 1.5 percent on the day.