Gold on Tuesday hovered near the previous session’s lows and was heading for a second straight monthly fall, pressured by expectations the U.S. Federal Reserve will increase interest rates this year.
Spot gold was little changed at $1,186.15 an ounce by 0017 GMT, after falling as much as 1.4 percent to $1,182.05 on Monday.
Fed Chair Janet Yellen said on Friday that an increase in the central bank’s benchmark rate “may well be warranted later this year” given continued improvement in U.S. economic conditions, sending the dollar higher and pulling gold further away from a recent three-week peak.
Bullion is down more than 2 percent so far in March. It is nearly flat for the quarter.
U.S. gold for April delivery edged up 0.1 percent to $1,186 an ounce.
U.S. jobs data due on Friday, when many will be away for the Easter long weekend, will be a major event this week and a robust report could see investors position for tighter monetary policy sooner rather than later.
But outside the labour market, there were still signs that the U.S. economy hit a soft patch in the first quarter. Consumer spending barely rose in February as households used the windfall from lower gasoline prices to boost savings to the highest level in more than two years.
The dollar was firmer against most of its peers, having posted its biggest one-day rally in over a month against the yen and notching up solid gains on its Australian counterpart.
Asian stocks rose after a rally on Wall Street and steps by China to shore up its economy boosted risk appetite.