Gold struggled to recover from overnight losses on Tuesday on expectations of a Federal Reserve rate hike next week and a robust dollar.
Spot gold was little changed at $1,071.52 an ounce by 0009 GMT. It fell as much as 1.6 per cent on Monday to hit a session low of $1,069.66.
Friday’s strong US nonfarm payrolls data supported widely held market views that the Fed would hike interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade later this month.
Gold gained 2.3 per cent on Friday on short-covering immediately after the data, but with the focus back on the rate rise next week, investors sold off the metal on Monday.
The dollar extended gains against a basket of major currencies on Monday, helped by the jobs data and the looming rate hike, further weighing on bullion.
Higher rates tend to drag on non-interest-paying gold by increasing the opportunity cost of holding it, while boosting the dollar.
Bullion has lost about 9.5 per cent for the year, its third straight annual decline, on expectations of the rate hike.
Investor sentiment has been downbeat. Assets in SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, tumbled 0.65 per cent to 634.63 tonnes on Monday, the lowest since September 2008.
Elsewhere, China likely added nearly 21 tonnes of gold to its reserves in November, according to Reuters calculations from central bank data on Monday.
The central bank’s biggest purchase in five months failed to provide much support for the gold price.