The recent plunge in gold prices has been a hot topic recently, and there seems to be no end yet. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission may now probe the recent plunge in gold prices after gold futures registered their biggest one-day decline since the 1980s on Monday.
In a TV interview on Wednesday, Democratic CFTC Commissioner Bart Chilton told Bloomberg that the decline in gold prices does not mean “anything nefarious”, but it is a general practice that whenever such things take places “we got to look at it.”
“When you see such sharp move, that is obviously something that raises our concern and we look at the trades and see what is going on,” he said.
On Monday, gold futures fell 9.3 percent from $140.30 to $1,361.10 an ounce, marking the biggest one one-day percentage drop since February 1983. The plunge in prices was also the biggest one-day dollar drop since January 1980 and the second biggest in its history.
The 13 percent decline in the gold prices over a few days marks a historic reversal for an investment that is widely accepted after gains of more than 500 percent over a dozen years. The precious metalwas a popular investment to gain substantial returns with less volatility, but after the recent decline stands on a similar footing with stock, bond and real-estate markets that offer potential gains but are equally risky.
One of the major factors that contributed to the decline of prices is a bullish future on the U.S. economy, which though favorable for markets is not so good for safe haven assets. Weak GDP data from China, which is the largest buyer of gold, contributed a bit in the decline. The Cyprus debt crisis can also be blamed for the plunge, as there were fears that Cyprus might offload gold assets to save the economy.
There were reports last month that CFTC is looking into setting of prices for gold, and whether or not they are manipulated. As per the reports, the regulators are trying to discover if the prices are rigged by a few of the banks in London who meet two times per day to set gold prices. At that time, Chilton told Reuters, “Given the clubby manipulation efforts we saw in Libor benchmarks, I assume other benchmarks—many other benchmarks—are legit areas of inquiry.”
In mid-day trading Wednesday, gold for June delivery g GCM3 -0.53 percent has risen since then to $1,383.63.