Gold hit record highs at $1,198.70 an ounce in Europe on Tuesday as the dollar weakened against a basket of currencies in the wake of policy comments from the Bank of Japan, adding to strong investment demand for the metal.

Buyers have been cheered by the strength of gold's recovery after a correction to below $1,140 an ounce late last week, which was met by strong fund buying, traders said.

Spot gold was bid at $1,194.80 an ounce at 0921 GMT, against $1,179.10 late on Monday.

U.S. gold futures for February delivery on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange were up $14.10 at $1.196.40 an ounce, having earlier hit a record $1,200.50.

(Reporting by Jan Harvey; Editing by xxx)