Gold took a breather after notching another record high on Wednesday as growing tensions in the Middle East and U.S. interest rate cut hopes continued to push investors to the safe-haven asset.

Spot gold was down 0.3% at $2,272.79 per ounce, as of 1211 GMT after hitting a record high of $2,288.09 earlier in the session. Analysts attributed the slight pullback to an uptick in U.S. yields.

U.S. gold futures gained 0.5% to $2,293.20.

"The most important factor pushing gold prices higher is the bullish market mood... the narrative seems to centre very strongly around central bank buying," said Julius Baer analyst Carsten Menke.

"We remain rather cautious on gold and believe there is more downside than upside to prices from current levels. That said, we also acknowledge that near-term price risks are skewed to the upside, considering the bullish market mood."

Strong central bank buying and safe-haven inflows amid escalating geopolitical risks have fuelled the 10% gain in bullion so far this year.

"It seems as if gold turns every market development into a price increase," said Alexander Zumpfe, a precious metals trader at Heraeus.

Federal Reserve policymakers on Tuesday said they think it would be "reasonable" to cut U.S. rates three times this year, even as stronger economic data recently has sown doubts about that outcome.

"The U.S. economy is surprising with its strong performance, which would make a first interest rate cut in June less likely and thus weigh on the gold price - but the precious metal is holding its value," Zumpfe said.

Investors now await remarks from Fed Chair Jerome Powell later in the day for clues on when the central bank will deliver its first rate cut.

Gold tends to gain when interest rates are low, which reduces the opportunity cost of holding the non-yielding bullion.

Elsewhere, silver rose 0.8% to $26.33 per ounce, platinum was up 0.8% at $925.95 and palladium was steady at $1,003.50.

(Reporting by Brijesh Patel and Sherin Elizabeth Varghese in Bengaluru; Editing by Eileen Soreng and Janane Venkatraman)