NEW YORK: Gold prices retreated from a record high on Monday after the dollar strengthened and investors booked some profits, with the focus now on proposals for new US coronavirus aid to extend relief benefits to jobless Americans.
Spot gold was down 0.1% at $1,972.52 per ounce at 1:46 p.m. EDT (1746 GMT), after hitting a record high of $1,984.66. US gold futures settled mostly unchanged at $1,986.30.
"The pullback is just technical because we're so close to $2,000 level and there's profit taking and strengthening of the dollar has also caused gold to pause here," said Bob Haberkorn, senior market strategist at RJO Futures.
"I think a trade through $2,000 is waiting on to see what the US Congress does."
Investors await signs of an agreement on US coronavirus aid legislation that lawmakers are struggling to hammer out.
Bullion has surged about 30% so far this year, supported mainly by lower interest rates and widespread stimulus by global central banks to ease the economic blow from the pandemic.
Weighing on gold, the dollar rose 0.3% against rivals, making bullion expensive for holders of other currencies, and US manufacturing activity neared a 1-1/2-year high in July.
Virus cases have topped 18 million globally, with major cities announcing fresh restrictions to curb infections.
"There's no doubt that the backdrop remains highly constructive, with negative real yields for the foreseeable future. We've subsequently revised up our 6-12 month target to $2,300 per ounce," ANZ analysts wrote in a note dated Friday.
"Even so, we're mindful that if economic sentiment improves in coming quarters, the hurdle for continued growth in investor demand may make the path to this level an arduous one."
Silver eased 0.4% to $24.26 per ounce, platinum rose 1.1% to $916.66, and palladium was flat at $2,091.11.