Gold prices were steady on Thursday as investors weighed the impact of an expected rise in U.S. interest rates against uncertainty over the direction of U.S. fiscal policy.
Gold is highly exposed to interest rates and returns on other assets because rising rates lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.
Spot gold fell flat $1,278.03 an ounce at 1:37 p.m. ET, having touched a 3-1/2 week high of $1,289.09 on Wednesday.
U.S. gold futures for December delivery also touched even at $1,278.
Gold has traded in a tight range spanning about $24 in November.
ICBC Standard Bank precious metals strategist Tom Kendall said gold was stuck in a range, with the prospect of a rise in U.S. interest rates exerting pressure while uncertainty about the direction of U.S. fiscal policy offered support.
"The two are kind of pushing and pulling on global yields and on the gold price," he said.