Gold Futures Tumbles Over $100, Most in Five Years

The gold price tumbled Friday amid massive liquidation in the precious metals complex.  COMEX gold futures for December 2011 delivery settled with a loss of $101.90, or 5.9%, at $1,639.80 per ounce.  This marked the largest single-day decline for a most-active gold futures contract since June 2006, more than five years ago.

Gold futures reached an intra-day low of $1,631.70, while the spot price of gold hit $1,628.60 per ounce earlier this afternoon.  In doing so, the gold price reached its lowest level since August 1, 2011.  For the week, the gold price is now lower by $182.65, or 10.1%, and by $197.40, or 10.8% in September.

Tim Murray, Johnson Matthey’s general manager of precious metals, commented that the gold and silver markets suffered from a “massive, no-holds barred flight from risk to cash and the U.S. bond and dollar market.”

On the positive side, however, is that on a year-to-date basis the yellow metal remains higher by $207.55, or 14.6%. Furthermore, while gold has trailed silver for the majority of this year, such is not the case anymore.  With silver plummeting 17.7% on Friday alone, it is now lower by 3.8% in 2011.