Gold prices slipped on Friday to hover below $600 an ounce, with selling driven by a dollar rise and oil price weakness.
The metal, which had jumped about five percent in a week, lacked the strength to crack key price levels in the near term, but was poised to gain strongly in the medium term, analysts said.
"Month- and quarter-end book-squaring is expected to be seen across the day. However, with oil prices stalling and the dollar edging high, gold is at risk of dipping back into the $573-$597 trading area," said James Moore, analyst at TheBullionDesk.com.
Gold hit a high of $603.50 before falling to $598.85/599.35 by 1416 GMT, against New York's $603.00/604.00 late on Thursday.
Oil shed this week's gains and fell back toward $62 after OPEC member Nigeria appeared to be alone in its decision to trim output to stem a two-month price slide.
"Unless the oil price keeps going upward, there's not much else to push gold up. We've pushed above $600 but then it falls away very quickly. This is suggesting that things don't look too good," said a dealer in Sydney.
The metal regained $600 for the first time in more than two weeks on Thursday and rallied to $606.50 after a recovery by oil prices sparked investment buying.
"Obviously the bounce in oil prices helped gold...(but) I am not calling for a sharp increase from these levels in the very short term," John Reade, precious metals analyst at UBS Investment Bank, said