Gold struggled to get past overnight losses, trading near its lowest in three weeks on Tuesday, as a slump in oil prices and strength in global equities and the dollar hurt the metal's appeal. Spot gold was little changed at $1,174.85 an ounce by 0043 GMT. It tumbled nearly 2 percent on Monday, when it also dropped to a three-week low of $1,170.17.
The dollar held firm early on Tuesday, having risen to its highest level in nearly nine years against a basket of major currencies, driven in part by persistent weakness in the euro and a fresh fall in the yen. A higher greenback makes dollar-denominated gold more expensive for holders of other currencies, while also dulling bullion's appeal as a hedge.
Strength in oil prices also supported bullion, but gains in gold could be difficult to hold due to expectations of higher US interest rates and a strong outlook for the dollar. A strong U.S. dollar and the likelihood of higher U.S. rates even if inflation remains subdued are a recipe for lower gold prices.
Spot gold had edged up 0.4 percent to $1,199.86 an ounce by 0759 GMT, after losing about 2 percent last week.Oil prices nudged higher in Asia Tuesday on hopes of improved US economy figures, but analysts said gains would be capped with dealers squaring positions for the end of the year.