Gold eased for a second session on Wednesday as equities inched higher on optimism over U.S. economic growth, hurting bullion's safe-haven appeal.
Spot gold had eased 0.3 percent to $1,227.74 an ounce by 0014 GMT, after snapping a five-day rally on Tuesday.
Prices were hurt by data showing the U.S. trade deficit fell to a four-year low in November as exports hit a record high and weak oil prices held down the import bill.
The report, the latest in a string of strengthening economic fundamentals, left economists anticipating a far stronger growth pace for the fourth-quarter than previously expected.
A strong economy and higher equities curb demand for gold which is seen as an alternative investment.
Two top Federal Reserve officials said they expected the U.S. central bank to reduce its stimulus at a steady pace, with the lone official to dissent against the Fed's decision to trim its bond buying saying he was comfortable with the approach.
Markets are awaiting the Wednesday release of the minutes of the December Fed meeting - when the bank decided to cut back its $85 billion in monthly bond purchases - to gauge the pace of the drawdown.