Gold futures finished at their lowest level since March on Monday, which also saw the precious metal fall more than 5% at its low during Asian trading hours.
December gold GCZ21, 0.54% GC00, 0.53% finished $36.60, or 2.1%, lower at $1,726.50 an ounce, for the lowest settlement since March 31, but had touched an session low at $1,672.80 an ounce, which is the lowest intraday level since around June, FactSet data
Monday’s tumble comes after bullion fell 2.5% on Friday, and marked its steepest weekly slump, down nearly 3%, since the period ended June 18. Since Thursday, gold has fallen by 4.6%, based on the most-active contract.
Silver futures for September delivery SIU21, 1.10% SI00, 1.10%, meanwhile, lost 96.6 cents, or 3.8%, to end at $24.326 an ounce on Monday. Gold’s sister metal on Friday put in its sharpest one-day drop since June 17, driving a weekly decline of about 4.8%.
There wasn’t a clear catalyst for the session’s declines but strategists and other market participants attributed the sharp drop in trade in Asian hours to low volumes and persistent concerns about the prospect for precious metals after a better-than-expected U.S. jobs report on Friday.
Gold’s overnight flash crash was a perfect mix of Asia playing catch-up over with their Fed taper bets, plunging commodities as slowdown concerns grow across Asia. China’s new measures to combat the Delta variant should be helping to bolster gold moves but may be amplifying concerns about the health of one of the biggest buyers of gold and other commodities.
Beijing officials last week canceled all large-scale exhibitions and events for the remainder of August.
Investors also said thin trading volumes in Asian hours, due to holidays in Japan and Singapore, also may have contributed to Monday’s volatility in commodities.
“Gold’s overnight flash crash was a perfect mix of Asia playing catch-up over with their Fed taper bets, plunging commodities as slowdown concerns grow across Asia, and some thin conditions given the holidays in Japan and Singapore,” wrote Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda, in a daily note.
The employment report for July showed that the U.S. economy added 943,000 jobs, according to the Labor Department. Economists had forecast 845,000 jobs last month. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate dropped to 5.4%, below the estimate of 5.7% and falling below the 5.9% rate for June.
In other metals, September copper HGU21, 0.64% HG00, 0.62% lost 5.85 cents, or 1.3%, to close at $4.2895 a pound, after the industrial metal last week finished 2.9% lower.
October platinum PLV21, 1.21% PL00, 1.21% shed $1.30, or 0.1%, to settle at $970.90 an ounce, following a 7.3% weekly skid for the contract, marking its sharpest such decline since the middle of June. September palladium PAU21, 0.57% PA00, 0.57% lost $28, or 1.1%, to $2,602.10 an ounce, after putting on a weekly decline on Friday of 1%.