Gold retreated for a third session in a row on Thursday after comments from Federal Reserve officials and minutes of the U.S. central bank’s meeting last month suggested that a rate increase in June remained on the cards despite recent weak data.

Spot gold was off 0.1 percent at $1,201 an ounce by 0022 GMT.

Bullion hit a session low of $1,197.45 on Wednesday after two Fed officials said the U.S. central bank could still increase interest rates in June. The minutes of the Fed’s March 17-18 meeting showed it concluded with the Fed opening the door to a June rate hike, and that “several participants” went on record saying they expected upcoming economic data would warrant an initial rate increase that month.

Data last week showing U.S. jobs grew at the slowest pace in more than a year in March fueled expectations that a rate hike could happen later than June, sending gold to a seven-week peak above $1,220 on Monday.

U.S. gold for June delivery dropped 0.2 percent to $1,200.80 an ounce.

Source : Reuters