Gold hit another all-time high on Wednesday on worries about future inflation and economic uncertainties, while Asian stocks rebounded as the generally bearish dollar kept riskier assets in demand.
Spot gold rose as high as $1,143.95 per ounce in early Asia trade, settling later just above $1,140, with expectations for a continued weakness in the U.S. currency also providing a support.
The dollar <.DXY> rose as investors trimmed short positions after euro zone economic policymakers followed U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke in commenting about the merits of a strong dollar, but dealers said the rebound would likely be limited.
It's going to be hard for the dollar to gain further, since it looks like that the U.S. will keep its low interest rate policy for a while, said Tomohiro Nishida, treasury department manager at Chuo Mitsui Trust and Banking Company in Tokyo.
Expectations that the U.S. interest rates will stay low for some time have dragged down the dollar against major currencies and made global investors look for better returns from riskier trades, such as emerging markets currencies and stocks.
U.S. President Barack Obama meets Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao later in the day on his last day of visit, although his much anticipated meeting with President Hu Jintao on Tuesday failed to produce any visible impact on the markets.
Japan's Nikkei average <.N225> edged higher on gains in semiconductor-related shares. The MSCI index of Asia Pacific shares traded outside Japan <.MIAPJ0000PUS> was up half a percent, lifted by a rise in U.S. stocks to 13-month highs.
U.S. crude futures rose 54 cents to $79.68 a barrel by 0043 GMT, after settling up 24 cents on Tuesday, after an industry group reported a larger-than-expected drawdown in U.S. crude stocks last week.
(Additional reporting by Kaori Kaneko in TOKYO; Editing by Tomasz Janowski)