Gold prices sink to their lowest in a month following signs of economic growth in US and China

Gold is slipping to its lowest level in a month as signs of an improving economy lure traders into other investments.

The gold contract for August delivery sank $13.90, or 1.1 percent, to settle at $1,290.80 an ounce Thursday. That's the lowest settlement price since June 18.

The Labor Department said Thursday that the number of people applying for unemployment benefits last week dropped to the lowest level since February 2006, almost two years before the Great Recession started. In a separate report out Thursday, a gauge of manufacturing in China reached an 18-month high.

Better economic reports tend to drag down gold prices.

In other trading, news of stronger Chinese manufacturing gave copper prices a boost. Copper for September climbed 6 cents, or 2 percent, to $3.27 a pound.