Gold fell 2 percent on Thursday after better-than-forecast U.S. jobs data encouraged investors to sell the traditional safe-haven market, reviving expectations the Federal Reserve could raise interest rates soon.
Data on Thursday showed claims for state unemployment benefits declined 34,000 to a seasonally adjusted 262,000 for the week ended April 25, the lowest reading since April 2000.
Separately, U.S. consumer spending rose 0.4 percent last month after rising 0.2 percent in February, while the Chicago Purchasing Management Index jumped more than expected in April.
Spot gold was heading for its biggest daily fall since March 6, dropping as much as 2.3 percent to a session low of $1,176.80 an ounce earlier. It was last lower at $1,182.50 an ounce, on track to finish April down a shade for its third straight month lower.
U.S. gold futures for June delivery settled down $27.60 an ounce, or 2.3 percent, at $1,182.40.
"It looks like the trigger (for today's weakness) was the U.S. data, with strong jobs creation," Saxo Bank senior manager Ole Hansen said.
"Since the Fed yesterday said it is not too worried (about the economic slowdown) because it's seasonal, a set of data that points towards confirming that statement, makes the market a bit jittery."