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(Reuters) – Gold prices fell on Thursday on a strong dollar and a rebound of stocks following a multi-day sell-off globally, taking steam out of bullion’s momentum.

Prices had risen to $1,239.22 earlier, near a more than three-month high of $1,239.68 hit on Tuesday as the stock market sell-off spurred interest in gold, considered a safer investment.

U.S. gold futures GCcv1 settled up $1.3, or 0.11 percent, at $1,232.40

“With equities being higher today, gold is unable to sustain a rally,” said Bob Haberkorn, senior market strategist at RJO Futures, adding that investors looking for safety are opting for Treasuries instead. [US/]

“Normally you would see gold trading significantly higher with this volatility, concerns in equity markets and global economic slowdown. But the fact that the U.S. Federal Reserve is hawkish, gold is having a hard time sustaining any rallies.”

The government said earlier that the number of Americans receiving unemployment benefits fell to more than a 45-year low, a sign to tight labour market conditions. That will likely keep the U.S. central bank on course to raise interest rates again in December. [nUSNPLEEMN]

Prospects of higher U.S. interest rates are negative for dollar-priced gold as they raise the opportunity cost of holding the bullion.

“The options expiry on Thursday is also dampening volatility in gold as between $1,225 and $1,230. There were about 1.5 million ounces of options that were open, allowing people to play around the range,” said Tai Wong, head of precious and base metals trading at BMO.

via Gold prices dip on strong dollar, equities rebound | Reuters