Gold prices: Biggest plunge since '80

September 23, 2011: 6:11 PM ET
Gold prices plunged this week on more concerns about the global economy.

Gold prices plunged this week on more concerns about the global economy. Click the chart for more on gold and other commodities.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Gold prices continued to plunge Friday, despite the market turmoil that often drives investors to the traditional safe haven.

Gold tumbled $101.90, or 5.9%, in regular trading to $1,639.80 an ounce. It's the second straight day of steep declines for the precious metal.

According to the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Friday marked the first $100 daily price drop since Jan. 22, 1980, when gold plunged $143.50 to $682 the day after having spiked to a record high.

Keith Springer, president of Springer Financial Advisors, said that while gold has benefited from economic uncertainty in recent months and years, it's primarily been a hedge against inflation.

But the growing worries about a global economic slowdown have raised new fears that there could be a period of deflation, or falling prices, in the months ahead.

"People are quickly coming to the realization that gold does very bad in a deflationary environment," he said.

Gold isn't the only commodity to be hit by concerns about the global economy. Silver suffered its worst trading day in decades losing $6.48, or 17.7%, to close at $30.10.

Copper and platinum also both lost nearly 6%. But those metals have far more industrial uses than gold, Springer said, so fears of a recession should drive down those prices. To top of page

Index Last Change % Change
Dow 16,960.57 -123.23 -0.72%
Nasdaq 4,449.56 -22.54 -0.50%
S&P 500 1,978.34 -9.64 -0.48%
Treasuries 2.47 -0.04 -1.59%
Data as of 12:19am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Facebook Inc 75.19 0.21 0.28%
Apple Inc 97.67 0.64 0.66%
Bank of America Corp... 15.59 -0.03 -0.19%
Ford Motor Co 17.62 -0.22 -1.23%
Applied Materials In... 21.23 -0.52 -2.41%
Data as of Jul 25
Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed4.32%4.27%
15 yr fixed3.29%3.27%
5/1 ARM3.34%3.47%
30 yr refi4.29%4.24%
15 yr refi3.26%3.25%
Rate data provided
by Bankrate.com
View rates in your area
 
Find personalized rates:
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.