Gold falls as job data crushes rate outlook

Gold fell abruptly this morning, pushed by a rising dollar after data showed the U.S. economy created more jobs than expected over the last three months, decreasing prospects the Federal Reserve will keep interest rates low for an extended period.

After yesterday’s briefly gold recovery, lead mainly by a climb in the euro on the back of growing confidence in Greece’s ability to complete a bond swap to avoid defaulting on its debt, the bullion lost some direction again.

Spot gold fell 0.6% to $1,690.06 an ounce by 1337 GMT, down from an intraday high of $1,706.41, as the dollar rose against a basket of currencies, making it more profitable for non-U.S. investors to sell their dollar-priced bullion holdings.

This week has been gold's worst since since December. On Monday, gold dipped $6.92 to $1,705.66 per ounce. The next day gold prices tumbled to $36.45 or 2.1% to $1,669.21 per ounce, the lowest price for gold since January 24.

Silver fell 1.8% to $33.24 an ounce, keeping the gold/silver ratio, or number of ounces of silver needed to buy one ounce of gold, to 50, broadly unchanged from the start of the week.

Platinum, which has fallen almost 2% this week, was down 0.5% on the day at $1,649.49 an ounce.

In 2011 trading in gold was the most volatile since 1980 with the gap between the year’s highs and lows coming in at close to $600 an ounce or a 32% range. In 1980, when gold hit a record $850 an ounce, the spread was even greater at more than 40%.