US stocks slide on Boston blasts Panic selling triggers biggest gold price drop in 30 years

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Wall Street had its worst day this year after news of the Boston blasts filtered through in the last hour of trade.

In the final hour of trade following the blasts, the S&P 500 shed about 14 points of its 36-point dive, or 38 per cent of the day’s loss.

Overall, the index posted its worst day in more than four months, down 2.8 per cent to 1,552.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average had its worst day since November and was off 1.8 per cent, or 266 points, to 14,599.

The Nasdaq Composite shed 2.4 per cent to 3,216.

Gold prices posted their biggest fall since 1980 – the rout in gold was in part sparked by a weaker than expected reading on China’s annual growth rate and as investors speculate hedges against inflation are not needed anymore.

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Panic selling triggers biggest gold price drop in 30 years

“Sentiment is really frail and, interestingly enough, this is happening over a few weeks when we are seeing economic data that could, in other circumstances, be supportive to gold.”

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The further sharp drop in the price on Monday after Friday’s losses took gold to two-year lows, prompting calls of end to the metal’s “era” after a spectacular 12-year bull run.

In New York, gold for June delivery went as low as $1,355.50, marking an intraday fall of 9.7pc – the steepest in percentage terms since a 9.6pc loss seen in February 1983.

Legendary investor and gold ‘bull’ John Paulson was among those feeling the pain as gold lost its lustre, estimated to have lost hundreds of millions of dollars as the metal’s price has lurched downwards by around 13pc in just two days.

In one sharp move on Monday, the price dropped over $30 in a matter of minutes, as a market already spooked by the news that a cash-strapped Cyprus is considering a sale of its reserves to finance its bail-out faced gloomy growth figures from China. Slowing growth reduces the threat of inflation, so can sap demand for gold as a store of wealth when prices are rising. But the “safe haven” metal had already entered bear market territory last week, defined as a fall of 20pc or more from its peak. On Friday, the spot gold price dropped below $1,500, down from its record intraday high of $1,921.41 in September 2011.

 

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