Gold held steady on Monday, buoyed as growing geopolitical tensions continued to drive safe-haven demand.
Top aides to U.S. President Donald Trump differed on Sunday on where U.S. policy on Syria was headed after last week's attack on a Syrian air base, while U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned the strikes were a warning to other nations, including North Korea.
Spot gold was mostly unchanged at $1,253.86 per ounce by 0745 GMT, while U.S. gold futures had dropped 0.2 percent to $1,255.40.
The dollar index on Monday rose as much as 0.15 percent to over 3-week highs at 101.340.
"Somehow gold is keeping its $1,200-$1,250 range intact even thought it keeps rising and falling," said Mark To, head of research at Hong Kong's Wing Fung Financial Group.
"I don't think it can have a further upside as even though the (U.S. interest) rate hike expectations have come down; the direction of hikes and monetary tightening are quite clear."
The U.S. Federal Reserve might in the future avoid raising interest rates at the same time that it begins the process of shrinking its $4.5 trillion bond portfolio, prompting only a "little pause", New York Fed President William Dudley said on Friday.
"The U.S. Fed's rhetoric on balance sheet contraction, the strengthening dollar, declining credit growth and inflation expectations, are all negative for gold," said Stuart Allsopp, Head of Country Risk and Financial Markets Strategy BMI Research.
"The technical picture suggests a correction is imminent, albeit within a larger bull market as gold is going to rise with inflation repression picking up on a longer term-perspective."
Spot gold hit its highest since Nov. 10 at $1,270.46 on Friday and crossed the 200-day moving average. But, it failed to close above that key resistance level, making it difficult to move higher.
Spot gold may fall to $1,241 per ounce, as suggested by its wave pattern and a Fibonacci retracement analysis, said Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.
But gold has been supported by safe-haven demand due to mounting geopolitical tensions. A U.S. Navy strike group will be moving toward the western Pacific Ocean near the Korean peninsula as a show of force, as concerns grow about North Korea's advancing weapons programme.
Bullish sentiment on gold was also underpinned by U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data that showed speculators raising their net long position in COMEX gold for the third straight week in the week to April 4.
Spot silver dropped 0.3 percent to $17.90 an ounce, after hitting its best since Feb. 27 at $18.47 in the previous session.
Platinum declined 0.2 percent to $949.90 an ounce, while palladium fell 0.5 percent to $797.60.
(Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by Joseph Radford)