Gold fell to a more than four-year trough on Friday, dragging gold mining stocks as much as 6 percent lower, as the dollar index soared on a gangbusters U.S. labor report.
Gold futures for December delivery settled $22.20 lower at $1,192.90 an ounce—its lowest close since Aug. 3, 2010—on expectations that the report could cause the Federal Reserve to raise benchmark interest rates in mid-2015 or even earlier, a move that would discourage bets on non-interest-bearing assets such as bullion.
The break below $1,200 sent gold ETFs tumbling, with the CBOE Gold Index falling to its lowest level since November 2008 at $79, down more than 4 percent for the session, while Market Vectors and Goldcorp fell around 4 percent.
The SPDR Gold Trust declined around 2 percent, moving on volume of about 9.4 million shares, well above its 10-day moving average of 6.4 million. The fund is down nearly 10 percent year-to-date.
Shares of gold producers, including Osisko Gold Royalties and Newmont Mining, declined about 2 percent, while Kinross Gold fell to a multi-year low of $3.17, down about 30 percent year-to-date, down around 5 percent on the day.
Meanwhile, the dollar, which typically moves inversely with gold, surged more than 1 percent. The Greenback was last at its highest in more than four years and eyeing its 12th straight weekly gain, a feat not seen in four decades.
The U.S. added 248,000 jobs in September, handily topping Wall Street expectations for 215,000, and the jobless rate fell to 5.9 percent, the lowest since July 2008, the Labor Department said. Separately, the U.S. trade imbalance narrowed unexpectedly, helped by surging oil production.
"What causes the big swings in precious metals is what investors are doing, and if the dollar is strong and U.S. yields are higher, then gold becomes one of the least attractive assets for them because it holds no coupon,'' ABN Amro analyst Georgette Boele said.
The U.S. Central Bank, which has vowed to remain data dependent, will analyze Friday's jobs report as well as other economic reports for clues on the economy's health as its prepares its Oct. 28 policy meeting.
Gold-related assets have widely benefited the Fed's liquidity and a low rate environment since the Great Recession.
Reuters contributed to this report.