Gold has now fallen to its April 2011 low, 25 per cent below its peak of $1,920 per ounce after falling by 5.3 per cent on Friday. Gold has only fallen by over five percent on ten days in the last 30 years.
Selling became heavy after an unexpected contraction in US retail sales data, which hurt stocks and supported the dollar. It added to pressures that were building this week from several factors, including a draft plan for Cyprus to sell bullion and outflows from exchange-traded gold funds.
Bullion has soared for more than a decade due to its status as a safe-haven investment in troubled times and in response to inflation fears as the Federal Reserve embarked on an aggressive stimulus program to jump-start the US economy after the financial crisis.