Gold retreated from the one-month high it hit in earlier trade as the dollar, European equities and U.S. stock futures all lifted from lows after U.S. retail sales and inflation data.
It remained supported by overall jitters over the outlook for the global economy, however, as investors spooked by disappointing U.S. economic data turned to the metal as a safe store of value. Spot gold was bid at $1,213.10 an ounce at 9:06 a.m. EDT, against $1,211.20 late in New York on Thursday. Earlier it rose as high as $1,217.35. U.S. gold futures for December delivery eased $1.10 to $1,215.60.
Gold is on track to post its first consecutive two weeks of gains since late June, lifted by weak economic data from the United States, with a soft payrolls reading last Friday followed by weak jobless numbers on Thursday.
It remains within the relatively narrow range it has kept to for most of the summer, however, and will need fresh impetus to break this pattern, analysts said.
A weak non-farm payrolls print is not likely to give us a sustainable 3-4 weeks of strong inflows into gold, said RBS analyst Daniel Major. (But) a further serious deterioration in data could lead the market to price in more levels of quantitative easing.
I think you need more of a risk shock to stimulate a very strong inflow into gold that is likely to push prices back through $1,250 again.
He sees gold in the $1,150-1,225 range until significant new risk aversion enters the market.
U.S. stock futures and European shares pared losses on Friday after data showed retail sales rose in July, but the concentration of gains in auto and gas station sales suggested the momentum in consumer spending remained tame. .EU .N
The euro also edged lower against the dollar, reversing earlier gains made after strong German growth data earlier in the session.
A government report showed U.S. consumer rose for the first time in four months in July, helped by higher energy costs. The data could ease concerns about deflation.
Oil steadied after earlier rising 1 percent in a technical rebound after a three-day decline, while base metals also gave up gains.
Investment demand for physically backed gold exchange-traded funds picked up.
Holdings of the world's largest, the SPDR Gold Trust, climbed by just under 1 tonne on Thursday after rising more than 3 tonnes a day before, its biggest one-day inflow since June 29.
High prices weighed on jewelry demand in key gold-buying centers, however, with traders in India reporting a dip in demand as prices rose.
I have some five orders in the $1,210-$1,215 range, most of my orders are below $1,200, said one Mumbai dealer.
Silver was at $17.97 an ounce versus $18.02. India's largest importer of bullion, MMTC (MMTC.BO), said its silver imports fell more than 44 percent in the year to end March as high prices hit demand.
Platinum was at $1,522 an ounce versus $1,525.50 and palladium at $470.50 against $467.
Gold's price rise means platinum has become increasingly good value in comparison, with the platinum-gold ratio slipping to a one-month low of 1.26 on Friday.
(Editing by Sue Thomas)