Gold received a lukewarm reception a day after racing to a record high, with consumers in Asia more likely to be cashing in than panic buying.
Profit taking -- read selling -- replaced gold purchases that in New York and across Europe on Tuesday had swept spot bullion through the March 2008 record to hit $1,043.45 an ounce.
It is simple, buy low and sell high -- I am making a 10 percent profit already so I am selling, said Nguyen Duc Hung while waiting to sell five taels of gold at a shop on Hanoi's Ha Trung street. Hung said he bought the gold in early July.
To date, there have been no reports of gold hoarders burying stashes in secret spots as was the case in 1980, when gold zoomed above $800 an ounce for the first time, or about double today's level when adjusted for inflation.
Gold was last quoted at $1,042.20 an ounce, just shy of Tuesday's peak.
Today's been like any other day, said David Carr, of KJC Coins Australia in Sydney. No one's coming in to sell gold because the price jumped overnight, it's more wait and see, business as usual.
The Australian outback gold mining town of Kalgoorlie, home to a nearly Times Square-sized electronic ticker tape broadcasting up-to-the-minute bullion prices, also was quiet.
There's nothing going on that's out of the ordinary, said John Horner, editor of the Kalgoorlie Miner newspaper.
In Tokyo, gold's ascent barely caused a flutter.
Both buyers and sellers are coming to the shop today, they are more or less evenly balanced, said Osamu Ikeda, general manager at Tanaka Kikinzoku Kogyo, Japan's biggest bullion retailer.
With Chinese markets closed for a week-long holiday, Japanese investment sentiment was center stage in Asia.
Importantly, gold does not appear to be finding support from Tokyo, the key region in our time zone, said Nigel Moffatt, head of treasury for Australia's Perth Mint.
In India, where consumer demand typically peaks next week for the Dhanteras and Diwali festivals, the strong rupee kept the local price of gold under the psychological level of 16,000 rupees ($342) per 10 grams.
Buying was very strong in the last couple of weeks, but it has been affected now even though the rupee has given a good cap to local prices, said Pinakin Vyas, assistant vice president treasury at IndusInd Bank, a private bank in Mumbai that imports gold to sell to local traders and jewelers.
Investors will not buy at these levels though need-based buying from jewelers will continue. People will wait for some time and then come back to the market.
Even Jim Rogers, one of the biggest bulls during this decade's commodities rally, said he would stay clear of buying gold for now, although he predicted prices will continue to go up over the long term.
Gold has hit a new high and I don't like to buy something at record prices unless there are extremely strong fundamental reasons, he said.
Gold's gains comes in step with a fall in the U.S. dollar, which has been battered by low interest rates and worries about the state of the world's largest economy.
The dollar index was at 76.384 on Wednesday, near a 13-month low hit in September.
The driving force for gold's rally is the declining confidence in the dollar, which helped elevate gold's stature, along with the explosive growth in gold-backed exchange-traded funds which broadened the investor base for bullion, said Shuji Sugata, a manager at Mitsubishi Corp Futures & Securities.
For a 60-year-old Hong Kong housewife standing outside a downtown jewelry store, who only gave her last name of Fung, her foray into gold was much simpler.
The price is high and I don't wear them, so I sold, she said of a gold ring and a gold pandan purchased more than 20 years ago.
(Additional reporting by Polly Yam in HONG KONG, Miho Yoshikawa and Chikako Mogi in TOKYO and Nguyen Nhat Lam in HANOI; Editing by Michael Urquhart)