Panic selling triggers biggest gold price drop in 30 years

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Panic selling triggers biggest gold price drop in 30 years

Gold suffered its biggest one-day fall in three decades, crashing through $1,400 (£913) an ounce as investors faced with a bear market turned to panic selling.

Gold bars

The further sharp drop in the price on Monday after Friday’s losses took gold to two-year lows, prompting calls of end to the metal’s “era” after a spectacular 12-year bull run.

In New York, gold for June delivery went as low as $1,355.50, marking an intraday fall of 9.7pc – the steepest in percentage terms since a 9.6pc loss seen in February 1983.

Legendary investor and gold ‘bull’ John Paulson was among those feeling the pain as gold lost its lustre, estimated to have lost hundreds of millions of dollars as the metal’s price has lurched downwards by around 13pc in just two days.

In one sharp move on Monday, the price dropped over $30 in a matter of minutes, as a market already spooked by the news that a cash-strapped Cyprus is considering a sale of its reserves to finance its bail-out faced gloomy growth figures from China. Slowing growth reduces the threat of inflation, so can sap demand for gold as a store of wealth when prices are rising.

But the “safe haven” metal had already entered bear market territory last week, defined as a fall of 20pc or more from its peak. On Friday, the spot gold price dropped below $1,500, down from its record intraday high of $1,921.41 in September 2011.