Gold prices rose Wednesday, at one point topping the $1,750 mark, but generally stayed within a narrow range in the absence of any single dominant factor.
The euro rose against the dollar, which supports gold's price by making it less expensive for buyers using non-U.S. currencies, and buyers of physical gold in India continued purchases.
The number of long or positive bets on the Comex remained at four-month highs, and a nearly 700,000 ounce increase last month in the amount of global gold holdings in exchange-traded funds reflected upbeat investor sentiment.
More clarity about whether gold will climb through the next level of price resistance should come in the next three days.
The latter half of the week may offer better clues as to where investor sentiment currently stands, with month-end activities out of the way, UBS analyst Edel Tully said in a client note.
From a technical perspective, the slope of gold's 100-day moving average appears to be bottoming out and yesterday's $1,748 high brought prices ever closer to the $1,755 key resistance. But holding above $1,740 turned out to be a challenge. Gold could use this opportunity to consolidate recent gains and form a more solid base before attempting to take on the next technical target above $1,750.
Asian markets were mixed, with mixed Chinese economic data weighing on the Hang Seng, but European stocks were generally higher on hope that Greece could be kept from defaulting.
Gold for February delivery gained $7.30 to $1,747.70, while spot gold rose $4.97 to $1,744.97.
Silver for March delivery added 51 cents to $33.77, and spot silver increased 12 cents to $33.78.