Gold settled more than 2 percent lower on Monday after better-than-expected U.S. manufacturing data prompted funds and speculators to increase bearish bets on bullion, traders said.
The precious metal's drop marked a sharp contrast to other asset classes, with U.S. equities largely flat and the dollar up 0.3 percent.
Bullion's losses widened after data showed the U.S. manufacturing sector expanded last month at its fastest pace in 2.5 years, while hiring also accelerated.
"The ISM news should not trigger a selloff in gold like this. A lot of momentum-driven and institutional investors are piling on gold's decline by short selling it,'' said Jeffrey Sica, chief investment officer at Sica Wealth Management, which has more than $1 billion in client assets.
Spot gold plunged 2.2 percent to $1,224 an ounce. The metal ended November down 5.4 percent, its biggest monthly decline since June and its third consecutive month of losses. for February delivery settled 2.3 percent lower, at $1,221.9 an ounce.
Gold priced in euro terms also fell to its lowest since August 2010 at 904.89 euros, reflecting a resurgent U.S. dollar based on an overall improvement in the U.S. economic outlook.
Data this week, including nonfarm payrolls, third-quarter gross domestic product and manufacturing purchasing managers index, may provide more insight into the strength of the world's biggest economy, traders said.
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