Gold’s safe haven status questioned by investors

Julian Harris
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PRECIOUS metals plunged again yesterday morning as investors continue to be spooked by the unexpected downturn in supposed “safe havens”.

Gold and silver both pared losses later in the day, yet have taken a huge hit since earlier in the month.

Spot gold tumbled as much as 7.4 per cent to a low of $1,534.49 yesterday, its weakest since early July, before cautious buying repaired some of the damage.

Gold has fallen by nearly nine per cent in its largest three-day slide since October 2008 and implied volatility has risen to a two and a half year high.

Spot silver dropped as much as 16 per cent to $26.04, a level not seen since November 2010, and platinum slid as much as nine per cent before paring losses.

“It shows you that at times of extreme stress, there is not a suitable substitute to liquidity,” said Credit Suisse analyst Tom Kendall.

Other highly-traded commodities also took a knock yesterday, with copper -- often a bellwether for the strength of the global economy -- suffering its sharpest fall since October 2008, before trimming losses. Aluminium fell to its lowest level for a year before recovering to trade higher.