Shares of gold and silver mining companies took a hit Tuesday, as did the broader market, dragged down by stress over the Greek bailout and China's cutting its 2012 growth target to a lower-than-usual 7.5 percent.
Those developments sent the yellow metal plummeting. Gold for April delivery fell $31.80 to $1,672.10. The 2 percent drop on the most active contract on the Comex drove the metal down to its first sub-$1,700 closing price since Jan. 24.
Mining company shares followed metals' prices down. Harmony Gold Mining (NYSE: HMY) fell 38 cents to $11.72. New Gold (ASE: NGD) dropped 36 cents to $10.16. AngloGold Ashanti (NYSE: AU) declined $1.08 to $39.87.
Among silver miners, First Majestic Silver (NYSE: AG) fell $1.18 to $18.20. Silvercorp Metals (NYSE: SVM) was off 23 cents to $6.72. Silver Standard Resources (NYSE: SSRI) retreated 73 cents to $15.23. Great Panther Silver (NYSEAMEX: GPL) closed down 12 cents to $2.36.
U.S. stock indexes dropped as well. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 1.57 percent, to 12,759.15. The S&P 500 Index fell 1.54 percent to 1,343.36.