Gold held just below a three-month high on Wednesday, bolstered by a weaker dollar and comments from Federal Reserve officials cautioning against a rate hike this year.
Spot gold had eased slightly to $1,166.40 an ounce by 0037 GMT, following a three-day rally. The metal had climbed to $1,169 on Monday, its highest since July 7.
The Fed had refrained from hiking rates at its September meeting citing concerns about the global economy, though Fed Chair Janet Yellen had said later that the central bank was on track to raise rates this year.
However, a weak U.S. nonfarm payrolls report earlier this month prompted the market to shift expectations of a Fed rate hike to 2016 and sell the dollar. * Gold, as a non-interest-paying asset, has been well bid since.
Fed Governor Daniel Tarullo on Tuesday said the Fed should not hike interest rates this year, in comments that point to sharp divisions within the U.S. central bank over America’s readiness for higher rates.
Tarullo, who rarely comments in public on monetary policy, is the second Fed governor this week to urge caution on the timing of rate hikes.
Fed Governor Lael Brainard on Monday said the Fed should hold off on rate hikes until it is clear that trouble in China and other international risks will not push the U.S. recovery off course.
The dollar index hit a 3-1/2-week low on Tuesday. Elsewhere in the physical markets, gold discounts in India widened to a three-month high this week as retail demand remained sluggish amid ample supplies and higher prices. Buying elsewhere in Asia was also lacklustre.