Gold closed lower on Wednesday after strong U.S. data and optimistic global growth prospects prompted a rally in the dollar and equities, drawing interest away from the metal.
A disappointing U.S. jobs report last week stoked speculation the Federal Reserve would remain very cautious on the pace of its stimulus tapering. That gave a boost to gold, which hit a one-month peak of $1,255.00 an ounce in the previous session.
But strong U.S. retail sales on Tuesday, coupled with news the World Bank raised its forecast for global growth for the first time in three years, lifted the dollar and global shares to multi-month highs.
Spot gold was last down 0.6 percent to $1,237 an ounce. It posted a 0.7 percent loss on Tuesday after touching a one-month peak of $1,255.00 earlier in the day.
U.S. gold futures for February delivery settled 0.6 percent lower at $1,238.30 an ounce.
"One weak employment report in the United States …is something that will not derail the economy or the tapering,'' ABN Amro analyst Georgette Boele said. "And then you had this week's data supporting the dollar and equities.''
The dollar rose 0.5 percent versus a basket of currencies, extending initial gains after data showed U.S. producer prices recorded their largest increase in six months in December.
A stronger greenback makes dollar-denominated gold more expensive for holders of other currencies.
The Fed announced its first cut to the $85 billion in monthly bond purchases in December, citing an improving economy. Markets are now closely watching economic data to gauge whether the bank will deepen the cuts.
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