Gold prices plunged to a 12-day low, after a 2 percent drop in oil prices and 1 percent decline in U.S. equity indexes, as investors took profits when a weak U.S. confidence reading implied consumer demand would languish for some time to come, and that will definitely be true.
Other precious metals, which rose to multi-week highs in early trading, changing direction to also suffer steep losses when investors decided to sell a bunch of commodities it the midst declining confidence.
Spot gold dropped to a low of $934.70 an ounce, its lowest since July 17, to change hands in late New York trade a bit higher at $936.95 an ounce, down from $953.25 an ounce in late Monday business.
New York August gold futures tumbled $14.40, or 1.51 percent, to $939.10 an ounce on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
August gold's average plummeted to a low at $933.80 - last experienced on July 17 - from a day's high at $956.80.
Along with lower oil and share prices, gold added to losses when the U.S. dollar increased from its lowest level of the year against a currency basket. The dollar rebounded as sinking confidence rekindled worries about the U.S. economic recovery and increased demand for safe-haven assets.
Gold, like other dollar-priced commodities, becomes less expensive for holders of other currencies as the U.S. unit weakens.
"We ran into profit taking. We had a technical failure at the $956 level. A little bit of dollar strength, a little bit of stock market weakness, a little bit of crude weakness cascaded into the tight trailing stops," said Frank McGhee, head precious metals trader at Integrated Brokerage Services LLC in Chicago.
McGhee said there were a number of factors driving the price down, including a series of automatic sell orders bunched up between $942 to $958 an ounce that lead to accelerated selling in the New York afternoon session.
Crude prices fell 2 percent, causing interest in gold to decline as a hedge against oil-led inflation.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009