Gold for December delivery – the most actively traded contract – fell 2.4% or $45, to $1,815 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange by lunchtime on Monday failing to capitalize on its safe-haven status as investors were forced to raise cash to cover losses on equity markets.
The benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average suffered another day of heavy selling, declining more than 120 points in volatile trade while European and Asian markets were battered after the deputy finance minister of Greece said the debt-laden country has cash to operate only until next month. Germany was readying measure to protect its banks against a Greek default while France's financial institutions were downgraded because of its exposure.
Gold touched an all-time high $1,923.70 an ounce Monday a week ago and set a record today when priced in euros and Swiss francs after both currencies tumbled following the latest bad news from Europe. In inflation adjusted terms gold must breach the $2,400/oz level to better the high of $850/oz set in January 1980.
Reuters reports Greece's international lenders threatened last week to withhold the sixth bailout payment of about 8 billion euros ($11 billion) because of the country's repeated fiscal slippages.
MarketWatch quotes George Gero, vice president in global futures at RBC Capital Markets, in emailed comments: “Gold sell stops are being placed as asset managers need to raise cash to stem portfolio losses.”