Gold prices busted a three-day winning streak Friday as fresh evidence of Eurozone instability piqued investors' desire for the liquidty and safety of the dollar.
Late in the trading session Fitch Ratings downgraded the sovereign debt of Spain and Italy, sending stocks lower and lifting the greenback out of a negative territory.
There is still a lot of disturbing rhetoric coming out of Europe about the amount of money that is really needed, said Andrew Kaip, analyst with BMO Financial Group. They are even talking about Portugal again. It's being sized up for more austerity measures.
We're probably just seeing a gut reaction to what's evolving in Europe and it's enough to provide incentives for moving into U.S. Treasury bills. It's not just a safety issue; it's a liquidity issue as well.
Adding to the overall stress about the financial system were remarks by the head of the Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank who said efforts to reform the banking system so tax payers won't be on the hook for failures of giant banks were a longer-term aspiration.
Earlier in the session gold was edging higher after the government issued a surprisingly strong September jobs report. The negative closing meant gold broke a three-day winning streak that had lifted it 1.5 percent.
Gold for December delivery was off $17.40 to $1,635.80, a 1.05 percent drop, while gold for immediate delivery fell $20.23 to $1,632.69.
Silver for December delivery was down $1.01 to $30.99, a 3.2 percent drop, while silver for immediate delivery was down 80 cents to $31.18.