Gold XAU rose as high as $630.20 an ounce before falling to $629.00/629.50 by 1404 GMT, against $623.70/624.50 in New York late on Tuesday.
“We see upside to gold prices from current levels due to scope for further dollar weakness in the weeks ahead and for the Iranian issue to also become a more significant concern,” said Barclays Capital.
The euro staged a modest recovery against the dollar after slipping in the previous session when the closely watched German ZEW business sentiment index hit its lowest in five years.
World powers which backed a package to defuse a dispute with Iran over its nuclear ambitions are ready to respond to Iran’s call for talks but only if it first suspends uranium enrichment, France said on Wednesday.
A weaker dollar makes gold cheaper for holders of other currencies and generally lifts demand for the metal, which is also seen as a store of value in dangerous times.
But some analysts said gold was expected to trade in a range, with its upward movement seen limited by a fall in oil prices and an improving situation in Lebanon.
“I don’t expect a huge amount of movement until we are back from holidays in September,” said Simon Weeks, director of precious metals at ScotiaMocatta.
“Despite the physical interest that came in at the lower numbers, there still seems to be a lot of metal around and (there are) not enough buyers to take up that excess liquidity.”
Oil fell below $73 a barrel, reducing gold’s allure as a safe-haven investment. In the Middle East, Lebanon urged the United States to make Israel remove a sea and air blockade it imposed at the start of its 34-day war with Hizbollah fighters.
“Oil and the dollar will still look to provide much of the...direction, while the thin holiday market conditions will hold gold between $600-$655,” TheBullionDesk.com said in a report.
In other precious metals, palladium XPD rose $2 to 341/346 an ounce, just below its highest since June 7 at $343.50 on Tuesday. Platinum XPT rose $1 to $1,228/1,233 an ounce from $1,227/1,232 late in New York.
Silver XAG edged up to $12.56/12.66 an ounce from $12.21/12.31 late in the US market.