Gold price hurt by US jobs numbers

The spot gold price lost $13, or 0.8%, to $1,460 an ounce in early trade in New York on Thursday, hurt by robust employment data from the US and giving up much of yesterday's gains.

The number of Americans people who applied for unemployment-insurance benefits fell to 323,000 in the week ending May 4 against expectations of a slight increase.

The figures have now reached the lowest level since January 2008 according to the US Department of Labor.

The news boosted the value of the dollar and diminishes gold's allure as an inflation hedge and storer of wealth amid currency depreciation.

The jobs report also means that the Federal Reserve could end its quantitative easing program to keep interest rates low and flood markets with cheap money sooner rather than later.

QE has been a massive boon for gold.

The Fed's near-zero interest rate policy and bond purchases – which under the current program total $85 billion a month – kicked off on 16 December 2008. On 15 December 2008 an ounce of gold cost $837.50.

Bargain hunting has helped gold regain its footing since dropping $200 an ounce over two days to reach a multi-year low of $1,326 mid-April, but the metal has been repeatedly rebuffed at the $1,480 level since then.