SINGAPORE (Commodity Online) : Gold prices eased in Asian trade Friday, after an overnight surge, as investors turned to profit booking.
Gold for immediate delivery was seen trading at $ 1206.71 an ounce at 12.00 noon Singapore time while US gold futures for June delivery was at $1,200.40at the same time.
Analysts said gold has gained as much as 10 percent this year as investors spooked by potential contagion from the eurozone debt crisis rushed to buy to the precious metal, whose safe haven appeal tends to increase in times of economic and geopolitical crises.
On Thursday, spot gold ended at $1207.25 an ounce after hitting as high as $1210.35 an ounce, its biggest one-day gain in more than a year.
Gold struck record at $1,226.10 five months ago. Dealers expected volatile trade ahead, with investors waiting for U.S. nonfarm payrolls later on Friday which could give clues on the state of the economy.
Meanwhile, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, SPDR Gold Trust, said its holdings stood at a record high of 1,185.787 tones as of May 6, up from 1,166.002 tones in the previous business day
Gold may target its previous record as concern that financial turmoil will spread from Greece across Europe prompts investors to seek refuge in the metal, according to Morgan Stanley.
The precious metal has gained 7.1 percent this year, hitting peaks in euro, sterling and Swiss franc terms.