Gold futures rose slightly on Wednesday, as increases in the price of the precious metal were spurred by a weaker dollar but limited by profit-taking.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold for February delivery rose $4.30, or 0.3%, to $1,659.90 an ounce.

The small gain continued the momentum prices in gold for spot delivery have seen since the beginning of the year, rising 6.09 percent. Wednesday's price represented a monthly and yearly high.

The dollar index, which generally moves against the price of gold, saw downward pressure Wednesday, moving down 0.65 percent to 80.587. Crude oil prices, another factor affecting the demand-and-supply dynamics for gold and derivate products, were steady.

The Wall Street Journal cited a note from Bart Melek, head of commodity strategy with TD Securities, who sees a short-term target for gold of $1,685 an ounce, assuming that Europe does not fall out of bed and cause a systemic crisis, said Bart Melek, head of commodity strategy with TD Securities, in a note.

Silver rose more significantly than gold Wednesday, going up 41 cents, or 1.6 percent to settle at $30.54 per ounce.