Spot gold drifted 88 cents lower to $1,373.24 an ounce by 0106 GMT, trading below its all-time high around $1,424 struck in early November.
Worries about the risk of an escalation of hostility between North and South Korea after an exchange of artillery fire earlier this week, and concerns about Ireland's sovereign debt have lifted gold, and the dollar, appealing to investor demand for security, unravelling gold's more typical inverse relationship with the greenback.
The dollar traded 0.1 percent higher versus the euro at $1.3388.
Investors continue to watch for signs that Ireland's debt crisis may spill over into other euro zone members, but senior euro zone officials dismissed suggestions that the single currency area could break up because of peripheral members' high debts and deficits.Markets shrugged off news that Vietnam's central bank had granted additional quotas for domestic companies to import gold between now and the year-end, but dealers noted buying on dips from consumers in Hong Kong and Southeast Asia. [ID:nL3E6MP0CR]
The euro dangled near a two-month low against the dollar on Friday on worries over euro zone countries' debt financing, while the Australian dollar tumbled after the central bank quashed chances of an imminent rate hike.
Oil inched up in paltry trade on Thursday, extending its biggest gain in four months as the dollar edged lower, but ongoing concerns about the euro zone and Chinese inflation threatened to limit gains.Wall Street rallied as U.S. stock investors put aside worries about swirling global problems on Wednesday, turning to improvement in the labor market and signs consumers are ready to open their wallets ahead of the biggest shopping day of the year.