Futures & Commodities

Gold falls for 4th day as US data boosts stocks, dollar


Gold eased on Thursday, headed for its biggest weekly rout since March, as upbeat U.S. growth and jobs data drove up stocks and the dollar, though uncertainty over the timing of a U.S. rate rise held losses in check.

was down 0.2 percent at $1,122.68 an ounce after seeing its biggest down day in five weeks on Wednesday. U.S. gold futures for December delivery finished down $2 an ounce at $1,122.60.

This week's slide in gold prices has eroded nearly all of last week's gains.

Futures Now: Gold slides

U.S. stocks soared and the dollar rose after data showed the U.S. economy grew faster than initially thought in the second quarter and jobless claims fell more than expected last week. European stocks extended gains to 3.4 percent.

"The data came in above expectations, and it's really going to be down to the wire for the rate hike," ING commodities analyst Hamza Khan said. "It's not making the picture for gold any clearer."

A U.S. Federal Reserve policymaker said the case for an interest rate increase next month seemed "less compelling" than it was a few weeks ago.

"We're seeing some stability return to equities markets, that's pressuring gold," said Phillip Streible, senior market strategist at RJO Futures in Chicago.

Gold tends to benefit from ultra-low rates, which cut the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion while boosting the dollar.

Read MorePrecious metals tumble on dollar; investors monitor China, Fed

Bullion is still up nearly 5 percent from July's 5-1/2 year low of $1,077, but has given up nearly 4 percent since touching a seven-week peak of $1,168.40 last week, hurt by a rebound in the dollar and other assets.

Silver was up 2.2 percent at $14.42, rallying after the previous day's drop to a 6-year low stoked bargain-hunting. Palladium was up 5.3 percent at $560.50 an ounce after setting a five-year low on Wednesday. Platinum was up 1.5 percent to $992 an ounce.

"Positioning on Nymex suggests that weakness had initially been driven by aggressive shorts while exchange-traded fund liquidations added to the pressure," UBS said in a note.

"With the exception of gold, palladium now has the leanest positioning within the precious metals complex. This suggests that while sentiment remains frail and charts continue to look worrisome, the market may now be nearing a bottom."