NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Gold prices plunged Thursday as the dollar surged against the euro amid concerns about the economic health of certain European nations.
February gold fell $28, or 2.5%, to settle at $1,107.40 an ounce after falling to a low of $1,098 an ounce earlier in the session. The retreat came two weeks after gold settled at an all-time high of $1,218.30 an ounce.
Carlos Sanchez, a precious metals analyst at CPM Group in New York, said the selloff was "definitely attributable to the stronger dollar, and some stop-loss selling."
The dollar jumped 1.3% against the euro to $1.4346, its highest level since early September. The euro came under pressure after Standard & Poors downgraded Greece's credit rating, raising concerns about the health of other strained euro zone economies like Ireland.
A stronger dollar tends to weigh on the price of gold, since the precious metal is traded in U.S. dollars around the world.
The buck was also supported by a Wednesday statement from the Federal Reserve that said U.S. economic conditions continue to improve, even as the central bank held interest rates near historic lows.
Sanchez said a firm move below $1,100 an ounce could pave the way for a brief retreat toward a range near $1,050 an ounce. However, he expects the weakness to be short lived.
Gold, which has gained about 24% this year, has been on a tear over the last few months as the dollar has weakened substantially.
While the dollar has regained ground in recent days, many traders expect gold prices to push higher into next year amid strong investor interest and the outlook for low U.S. interest rates.
In a research report out Thursday, analysts at Morgan Stanley raised their forecast for gold prices next year by 20% to $1,200 an ounce. The investment bank also raised the outlook for 2011, but reduced forecasts from 2013 onwards.
|Overnight Avg Rate||Latest||Change||Last Week|
|30 yr fixed||4.12%||4.00%|
|15 yr fixed||3.14%||3.00%|
|30 yr refi||4.17%||4.06%|
|15 yr refi||3.21%||3.09%|
Today's featured rates:
Russia's economic turmoil has already spread to companies in the West and many brands are bracing for a bigger blow to earnings. More
The shale boom has been a blessing to Texas, but tumbling oil prices are casting a shadow over the state. More
Portland's mayor says the city will create new rules, eventually allowing Uber to operate there. More
With two recent IPOs and a digitally-inclined audience of entrepreneurs, non-traditional financing could finally get its big break. More
Payday lenders are spending millions of dollars in Washington in an attempt to get powerful politicians on their side as a government crackdown on the industry heats up. More