Gold slides as upbeat US economic data lifts dollar

Getty Images

Gold slipped on Wednesday, adding to its deepest monthly losses in over three years as strong U.S. economic data buoyed the dollar and further cemented the case for hiking rates in December.

U.S. private employers stepped up hiring in November much more than expected and consumer spending increased last month, giving more ammunition to the Federal Reserve for a rate increase.

The data helped the dollar climb half a percent against a basket of major currencies after last week touching the highest levels for almost 14 years.

Gold is highly sensitive to rising rates, which lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion, while boosting the dollar, in which it is priced.

Spot gold had dropped 1.1 percent to $1,174.96 an ounce by 3:06 p.m. EDT while U.S. gold future for December delivery settled at $1,170.80.

Gold has shed nearly 8 percent in November, the biggest monthly fall since June 2013, hurt by a rally in the U.S. dollar on surging Treasury yields as investors believed President-elect Donald Trump's policies would invoke faster inflation.

Here's why the pause in dollar's rise is 'refreshing'

"Recently there's been a perfect storm against gold with higher risk appetite, rising stock markets and bond yields, massive ETF (exchange traded fund) outflows and the withdrawal of speculative financial investors," said analyst Daniel Briesemann at Commerzbank in Frankfurt.

"We don't think this is over yet. Normally lower prices should attract higher demand, but the Indian situation is putting the brakes on gold buying."

The shock withdrawal of high-value notes to fight "black money" in India, the world's second biggest consumer of gold, has hit gold demand there during the peak wedding season.

Silver fell 0.7 percent to $16.48 an ounce while platinum shed 0.8 percent to $910.

Palladium climbed to an intraday high of $772.70 an ounce, its strongest since June 2015, paring gains to $770.25, up 1.3 percent.

Palladium has risen over 23 percent this month, its best since February 2008, outperforming other metals.

That rise has been mostly driven by speculators, overshooting levels that are supported by supply/demand fundamentals, and so the metal was likely to see a correction of over $100, Briesemann said.

— Follow CNBC International on Twitter and Facebook.