CHART: Gold price suffers biggest fall in six years

Bloodied but unbowed. Image by Javier Cabrio.

The gold price plunged in early morning trade on Thursday, in one of the worst trading sessions in dollar terms in gold market history.

The gold price dropped to $1,514.30 an ounce in mid-morning – down 3% or $46.10 an ounce from the Thursday’s settlement of $1,560.40 on the Comex market in New York.

The trades that crushed December-delivery gold in morning trade came in three short bursts of 1moz-plus sell orders, forcing bulls back on the defensive after a nearly 10% rally since the beginning of August.

Gold regained some of its footing by lunchtime Thursday, still more than 2% down on the day, after 55 million ounces of gold had exchanged hands in total in New York. That’s equivalent to half a year’s global gold production.

The gold futures market has been quiet in recent years, but today’s wild swing is in dollar terms the biggest fall in the price since 2013 when gold was trading at almost exactly today’s levels in the mid-$1,500s.

Wild swings

Gold ended the day on April 15, 2013 over $87 below the previous closing – and never recovered on its way to $1,050 an ounce three years later. On that day, 10 million ounces traded within 30 minutes described as a “shock and awe” trading strategy by a short seller.

Gold hit a record $1,909 an ounce intra-day on 23 August 2011, but the next day suffered one of its few triple digit one-day losses when it plummeted $105, ending the week down more than 10% from the all-time high.

Adjusted for inflation, gold’s highest price point ever was on January 21, 1980 when the precious metal hit $850 only to plunge the very next day to $737.50, a 13% fall.

The biggest fall in percentage terms came in February 1983, when the yellow metal fell from $475 to $408.50 over two days, a 14% decline.  

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