Gold inched higher on Thursday along with an uptick in oil prices, but gains were capped by the strength in the dollar and strong U.S. economic data that reduced the metal's appeal as a hedge.
- Spot gold edged up 0.2 percent to $1,212.63 announce by 0045 GMT. The metal fell 0.7 percent in the previous session, ending a three-day winning streak.
- Prices had climbed to a three-week high on global equities concerns over a Greece exit of the euro zone if a left-wing party that wants to cancel austerity measures wins the Jan. 25 elections.
- But gold lost some ground on Wednesday as stocks edged up after recent sharp losses and as minutes from the Federal Reserve's policy meeting in December showed the U.S. central bank maintaining the status quot on interest rates.
Gold prices are at their highest level relative to oil since the late 1990s as bullion holds its appeal while crude's downward spiral shows no sign of ending amid rising supplies and lackluster demand. Rallies could be capped by strength in the dollar, which is hovering near a nine-year peak against a basket of major currencies.