SINGAPORE (Commodity Online) : Gold prices advanced for the second successive day in Asian trade Thursday as the dollar remained under pressure.
Gold for immediate delivery was seen trading at $1143.45 an ounce at 11.15 a.m Singapore time while U.S. gold futures for February delivery were up 0.6 percent at $1,143.30 per ounce at the same time.
As the dollar remained under pressure, players shifted their immediate focus to the ECB's policy decision and remarks by ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet, as well as U.S. retail sales and weekly jobless claims due later in the day.
The dollar index, a gauge measuring the greenback's value against six major currencies, dropped 0.055 to 77.065, which helped the precious metal end higher.
Traders said if the dollar remained on a weak trend, gold could test new highs in the coming months.
Gold prices fell sharply on early this week when China's decision to raise bank reserve requirements sparked fears that spending would be curtailed and decrease bullion's appeal as a hedge against inflation.
On Wednesday, Spot gold closed at $1,137.60 an ounce while the most active gold contract for February delivery climbed $7.4 or 0.7 percent, to finish at $1,136.80 an ounce.
Meanwhile, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, SPDR Gold Trust , said its holdings stood at 1,115.884 tones as of Jan. 13, unchanged from the previous business day. The holdings hit a record high of 1,134.03 tones on June 1.