Gold fell Thursday on trans-Atlantic indications that economic activity may be picking up, a development that encouraged investors to leave so-called safe-haven investments like gold for the promise of equities.

The Institute for Supply Management's August manufacturing report declined to 50.6 from 50.9, but topped economists' expectations and remained positive. Any number over 50 indicates manufacturing is growing. It was the 25th consecutive month that the U.S. manufacturing sector increased.

The Labor Department said Thursday that U.S. jobless claims fell 12,000 last week to 409,000, though some of the decline stemmed from the fact that initial claims from two weeks ago were revised up to 421,000 from the initially estimated 417,000.

In Germany, employment and manufacturing data came in strong, with unemployment remaining low and July machine orders rising to 9 percent.

Gold for December delivery, the most actively traded contract on the CME Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, slipped $4.60 to $1,827.20 per ounce.

Silver posted a 2-cent gain to $41.79 per ounce.

The S&P 500 index of large capitalization stocks rose 1.58 to 1,220.47 and the Nasdaq composite added 3.56 to 2,583.01.