Gold futures plunged below $900 an ounce in New York on Tuesday for the first time in six weeks as the dollar continued to strengthen after taking a beating while investors moved to equities on signs banks are rebounding from U.S. subprime- mortgage losses.
Gold for June delivery tumbled $33.70, or 3.6 percent, to close at $887.80 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The precious metal earlier fell to a low of $876.30, the lowest for a most-active contract since Jan. 22. The last time gold traded under $900 was on Feb. 13.
Given gold's recent movements, the yellow metal will remain vulnerable to selling pressure in the coming sessions, said James Moore, analyst at TheBullionDesk.com.
In a research note, Moore cited how the second quarter's traditionally weaker than the first due to general market cycles.
U.S. stocks rose and the dollar rallied the most in almost two weeks against the euro after UBS AG and Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. said they were raising $19 billion to replenish capital.
On March 17, gold reached a record $1,033.90 an ounce, and the euro traded at an all-time high versus the dollar.
Everything from cotton to copper and soybeans to silver is off sharply, said Jon Nadler, senior analyst at Kitco Bullion Dealers. The ever-weakening dollar had prompted many a fund to pile money into the sector since September last year, pushing values of some commodities well beyond fundamentals.
But now, as the dollar is staging somewhat of a comeback, even if a temporary one, the niche is being drained of money quite fast, Nadler said.
The dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback against a basket of other major currencies, gained 1 percent to 72.59.
Also on the Nymex, July platinum futures dropped $105.60, or 5.2 percent, to $1,937.80 an ounce.
May silver futures fell 42 cents, or 2.4 percent, to $16.89 an ounce and June palladium fell $1.60, to $448.60 an ounce. May copper futures dropped 2.1 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $3.81 a pound.