Gold settled lower on Tuesday, snapping five straight sessions of gains, as a stronger dollar and rebound in U.S. stocks triggered profit-taking following bullion's early 2014 rally.
Analysts said gold appeared to find support from funds' index rebalancing and equities' losses following last year's tumble in bullion prices and stock markets' record run-up.
However, a rising interest-rate environment after the Federal Reserve announced plans to trim its massive bond-buying plan and an improving U.S. economic outlook could pressure gold, analysts said.
Chart: Precious Metals
"While further upside cannot be ruled out in the short term…, the macro backdrop remains intact and so are the challenges that are in store for gold for the rest of this year,'' said UBS precious metals analyst Joni Teves.
Spot gold dropped 0.7 percent to $1,228 an ounce, while U.S. gold futures for February delivery settled $8.40 lower at $1,229.60 an ounce.
Gold prices had gained nearly 4 percent in the previous five sessions, mostly because of a fall in equities after record 2013 gains.
Bullion posted a 28 percent drop last year, its largest in more than three decades, as the U.S. Federal Reserve announced plans to unwind its ultra-loose monetary policy.
Traders will now focus on U.S. non-farm payrolls and trade numbers on Friday, which will be preceded by Wednesday's minutes of the Federal Reserve's December policy meeting.
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