Gold, Silver Plummet, U.S. Dollar Hits 7-Month High

Gold and silver futures plummeted Thursday as the U.S. dollar surged higher on heightened fears over a global recession and the sovereign debt crisis in Europe.

COMEX gold for December 2011 delivery settled lower by $74.20, or 4.1%, at $1734.10 per ounce.  December silver futures sunk $3.66, or 9.1%, to $36.81 per ounce.
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Gold Price Tumbles, Chinese Data, Fed Spook Wall Street

The gold price tumbled $45.91, or 2.6%, to $1,736.44 Thursday amid significant weakness in financial markets across the globe.  Silver plunged alongside the price of gold, by $2.61, or 6.6%, to $37.01 per ounce.  U.S. markets were set to open with large losses, as S&P 500 futures dropped 30.00 points to 1,125.75.  In addition to disappointment stemming from yesterday’s Fed meeting, a weaker than expected report on the Chinese economy helped fuel the selling.  HSBC’s preliminary China Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index, or “flash” PMI, slid to a two-month low of 49.2 in September, below the 50 level separating expansion from contraction.
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Gold Turns Lower, Dollar Climbs After Fed Meeting

Gold turned lower and the U.S. dollar rallied after the Federal Reserve announced plans to extend the average maturity of its holdings of U.S. Treasuries, also known as Operation Twist.

Gold futures – per the December 2011 contract – slid from as high as $1,818 to as low as $1,782 following the FOMC announcement, and remained lower by $17.80, or 1.0%, at $1,791.30 per ounce as of 2:59pm ET.
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