Gold plummets as the dollar firms

By Ben Rooney, staff reporter


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.

Click the chart for current gold prices.

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.  To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed3.93%4.15%
15 yr fixed3.03%3.12%
5/1 ARM3.27%3.19%
30 yr refi4.01%4.20%
15 yr refi3.09%3.17%
Rate data provided
by Bankrate.com
View rates in your area
 
Find personalized rates:
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 16,399.67 19.26 0.12%
Nasdaq 4,316.07 57.64 1.35%
S&P 500 1,904.01 17.25 0.91%
Treasuries 2.18 -0.02 -0.82%
Data as of 8:01am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Apple Inc 99.76 2.09 2.14%
Bank of America Corp... 16.26 0.05 0.31%
Pfizer Inc 27.93 0.10 0.36%
Facebook Inc 76.95 1.00 1.32%
Microsoft Corp 44.08 0.45 1.03%
Data as of Oct 20

Sections

Better-than-expected iPhone sales and record Mac sales lifted Apple in its fiscal fourth quarter. More

China's economy has clocked its worst quarter in more than five years, raising concerns over Beijing's ability to meet its own annual growth target. More

In three years, all Chicago high school students will have to take a coding course in order to graduate. More

Host a furniture market. Here's how small town High Point, N.C. rakes in this much money -- twice a year. More

Foreign workers, lured by false promises of good jobs and benefits in America, soon find themselves enslaved in plain sight as victims of labor trafficking, a report from the Urban Institute finds. Here's how it can happen. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.