Gold falls after strong US data pushed the dollar higher

Gold prices fell on Thursday after strong economic data in the US pushed the dollar up and strengthened expectations for a rise in US interest rates.

Spot gold fell 0.34 percent to $ 1270.01 an ounce late in the US session, while US gold futures for December delivery fell $ 3.60 or 0.3 percent to settle at $ 1273.20 an ounce.

The dollar index rose to a two-and-a-half-month high after data showed the US trade deficit shrank in August as exports of goods and services rose to a two-and-a-half year high, while jobless claims fell more than expected.

Markets are eyeing US employment data in key non-farm sectors on Friday and investors expect a slowdown in new jobs due to two hurricanes in September.

Among other precious metals, silver rose 0.3 percent to $ 16.62 an ounce and palladium rose 2.2 percent to $ 942.10 an ounce, while platinum fell 0.3 percent to $ 909.70 an ounce.

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