By Clara Denina
LONDON: Gold remained above a three-week low on Thursday, as the dollar and European shares fell after the European Central Bank left key interest rates unchanged, but better-than-expected U.S. jobs data weighed.
The ECB held rates at record lows as it seeks to revive growth and inflation with cheap credit to the economy. It added that it still expects its key interest rates to remain at present or lower levels for an extended period.
ECB President Mario Draghi told a post-meeting news conference that the euro zone's central bank was prepared to take more action to lift inflation and economic growth if necessary.
"September's meeting has become even more important and expectations will be running sky-high that the bank will do more QE (quantitative easing)," ThinkMarkets chief analyst Naeem Aslam said.
Spot gold was unchanged at $1,315.55 an ounce by 1322 GMT, after touching $1,310.56, its lowest since June 28.
U.S. gold was down 0.3 percent at $1,314.19 an ounce.
The dollar, which hit a more than four-month high on Wednesday, slipped 0.2 percent against a basket of six currencies, also on reports that Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda had ruled out using "helicopter money" to stimulate Japan's economy.
The U.S. currency had benefitted lately from stronger-than-forecast economic data, which raised expectations that the Federal Reserve may raise rates before the end of the year.
On Thursday, data showed claims for state unemployment benefits slipped to their lowest reading since April.
Gold is highly sensitive to rising rates, which increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion, while boosting the dollar, in which it is priced.
"The chief factor impacting gold is the Fed's decision about an interest rate hike," Aslam said.