Gold eased on Friday and was headed for its biggest monthly drop since June as a recovering U.S. economy prompted investors to shift money to rallying equities, amid expectations of an end to easy central bank money.
Gold has shed 6 percent for the month and has lost more than a quarter of its value so far this year, which puts it on track to post its first annual loss in 13 years.
It has stayed below $1,300 for three weeks now and has been largely rangebound in the last few sessions due to thin trading around the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday.
"It's that time of the year when people are really reluctant to leave the sidelines. And there has been no catalyst to push prices either way," said a Hong Kong-based precious metals trader.
"From a positioning standpoint, people have already exhausted on the downside. We could possibly end higher for the year from current levels."
Spot gold had eased 0.1 percent to $1,241.90 an ounce by 0347 GMT. Silver, platinum and palladium were all trading higher.
The next big push for prices could be in early December when U.S. nonfarm payroll data is expected.
Economic data has become a significant driver of gold prices as the outlook for U.S. monetary stimulus depends on the strength of the recovery.
The $85 billion in monthly bond purchases by the U.S. Federal Reserve have burnished gold's appeal as an inflation hedge.
Buying from China, set to become the world's biggest consumer of gold this year, picked up this week as prices continued to be under pressure.
On Thursday, traded volumes of 99.99 percent purity gold on the Shanghai Gold Exchange hit their highest in seven weeks.
Volumes on Friday, however, were muted at about 3.6 tonnes as of 0347 GMT after averaging 16 tonnes in the last four sessions.
PRICES AT 0347 GMT
Metal Last Change Pct chg YTD pct chg
Spot gold 1241.9 -1.64 -0.13 -25.84
Spot silver 19.73 0.04 0.2 -34.84
Spot platinum 1358.75 3.35 0.25 -11.48
Spot palladium 718.75 2.55 0.36 3.87
Comex gold Dec3 1241.6 3.8 0.31 -25.91
Comex silver Dec3 19.715 0.082 0.42 -34.96