Spot gold was down 1.1 percent at $1,229.69 per ounce by 2:05 pm EST (1905 GMT), sharply off a low of $1,216.84 earlier in the session. US Comex gold futures for February delivery settled down $15.30 at $1,231.90 an ounce, with trading volume on track to finish in line with its 30-day average, preliminary Reuters data showed.
Holdings in SPDR Gold Trust GLD, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 2.70 tonnes to 838.71 tonnes on Wednesday, the lowest since early 2009. In other metals, silver followed gold's moves and was down 1.1 percent at $19.45 an ounce. Platinum fell 0.8 percent to $1,356.99, while palladium rose 0.8 percent to $730.50.