Gold prices dipped on Thursday as the dollar firmed, while investors awaited a host of U.S. economic data for clues on the Federal Reserve's strategy on interest rate hikes.

Spot gold fell 0.5% to $1,936.82 per ounce by 1159 GMT, after earlier hitting its highest since April 2022 at $1,949.09. U.S. gold futures shed 0.3% to $1,937.20.

The dollar index edged up, bouncing off an eight-month low.

U.S. fourth-quarter GDP estimates due at 1330 GMT, and Friday's U.S. personal consumption expenditures data are on investors' radar ahead of the Jan. 31-Feb. 1 Fed policy meeting. Traders are also likely to scan the U.S. weekly initial jobless claims data due later in the day.

Investors broadly expect the Fed to scale back rate hikes to 25 basis points (bps) from 50 bps in December.

The core PCE numbers and the GDP figures ahead of the central bank meetings next week will be playing on both bulls and bears minds alike, said independent analyst Ross Norman.

"Although inflation is a little sticky, the trend continues to ease with six consecutive months of decline, reinforcing the view that the Fed will slow the rate of tightening."

Lower rates tend to be beneficial for bullion, decreasing the opportunity cost of holding the non-yielding asset.

"U.S. GDP data is likely to confirm a slowing U.S. economy. If the view forms that the economy is heading into a recession, then we should see a further shift of funds from equities towards gold and dollar," said Michael Langford, director at corporate advisory firm AirGuide.

"The key question for investors will be how much the dollar will strengthen and how this will impact gold prices in near-term."

Spot silver fell 0.7% to $23.7 per ounce, platinum dropped 0.9% to $1,029.86, and palladium slipped 0.2% to $1,695.27.

(Reporting by Arundhati Sarkar, Ashitha Shivaprasad and Rahul Paswan in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)