SINGAPORE (Commodity Online) : Gold prices remained steady in Asian trade Wednesday mainly on increased safe-haven buying after a report said European banks face sizeable write-offs.

Gold for immediate delivery was seen trading at $1223.55 an ounce at 11.30 a.m Singapore time while gold for August delivery was at $ 1226.97 an ounce.

Analysts said market sentiment was weighted towards higher bullion prices with a chance of challenging last month's record high of $1,248.95 on momentum from investment demand.

Meanwhile, Japan's TOCOM gold futures rose Wednesday on news that Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama intends to resign sent the yen lower. TOCOM gold futures JAUc6 rose 0.6 or 23 yen per gram to 3,613 yen at 12 noon Tokyo time.

On Tuesday, gold for August delivery added $11.90 to settle at $1,226.90 an ounce as investors pushed more money into gold-backed securities.

World's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, the SPDR Gold Trust, said its holdings totaled 1,268.234 tones as of June 1 versus 1,267.930 tones on May 27, setting a record high.

In India, world's largest gold consumer, retail price of gold for jewellery breached the Rs.19,000 mark for 10 gm for the first time ever on Tuesday on account of the surge in global spot and futures markets, but settled eventually at Rs.18,700.

In India's gold futures markets, the yellow metal touched Rs.18,750 for July 10 delivery, up nearly 2 percent.