CHICAGO, Sept. 5 (Xinhua) -- Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange dropped more than 2 percent on Thursday, mostly on optimism over trade talks between the United States and China and rosier economic data.
The most active gold contract for December delivery was down 34.9 U.S. dollars, or 2.24 percent, to close at 1,525.5 dollars per ounce.
Chinese and U.S. chief trade negotiators agreed on Thursday to jointly take concrete actions to create favorable conditions for further consultations in October.
The agreement was reached in a phone conversation Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, also a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chief of the Chinese side of the China-U.S. comprehensive economic dialogue, held upon invitation with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
The two sides agreed to hold the 13th round of China-U.S. high-level economic and trade consultations in early October in Washington and maintain close communication before that.
On the economic front, private sector employment increased by 195,000 jobs from July to August, representing a rebound, according to ADP National Employment Report released on Thursday.
However, the decline of gold futures was curbed by a weaker greenback. The U.S. dollar index, which measures the buck against six rivals, went down 0.03 percent to 98.42 as of 1730 GMT.
Gold usually moves in opposite directions with the U.S. dollar, which means if the dollar goes strong, gold futures will fall as gold, priced in U.S. dollar, becomes expensive for investors using other currencies.
As for other precious metals, silver for December delivery was down 74 cents, or 3.79 percent to close at 18.807 dollars per ounce. Platinum for October delivery was down 20.5 dollars, or 2.08 percent, to settle at 963.7 dollars per ounce.