Gold futures plunged further on Wednesday to fresh five-year lows amid a broadly higher dollar, as investors continued to adopt a bearish sentiment to the precious metal.
On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold for August delivery plummeted to 1,085.90 a troy ounce, its lowest level since February, 2010, before rallying slightly in U.S. afternoon trading. The precious metal settled at $1,092.80, down 10.70 or 0.97% to close lower for the 10th consecutive session. Wednesday’s sell-off extended previous losses from the start of the week when gold futures crashed by more than 2.2% to slip below $1,100 an ounce.
Since peaking above $1,200 an ounce in late-June, gold futures have declined by nearly 10%.
The National Association of Realtors said in a monthly report on Wednesday that existing home sales in June increased 3.2% on a month-to-month basis to an annual rate of 5.49 million units, its highest level since February, 2007. Analysts expected existing home sales to rise to 5.40 million on the month.
Following last month’s surge, existing home sales are now up nearly 10% from last year at this time.
The strong data helped boost the dollar, which posted positive gains on Wednesday for the fifth time in six sessions. The U.S. Dollar Index, which measures the strength of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, rose more than 0.4% to an intraday high of 97.94. On Monday, the dollar index surged to a three-month high at 98.31.
Dollar-denominated commodities such as gold become more expensive for foreign purchasers when the dollar appreciates.
Elsewhere, the Shanghai Composite inched up 9.03 points or 0.22% to 4,026.04. During early-morning trading on Monday, gold plummeted more than 5% in mere minutes when it fell below $1,120, triggering a fresh batch of sell orders. The People’s Bank of China has enacted a wave of stimulus measures in recent weeks in an effort to reverse a massive sell-off that has resulted in approximately $3 trillion in losses among Chinese equities. While China said last week that its holdings in gold reserves has increased roughly 60% over the last six years, the figure pales in comparison to its substantial growth in foreign exchange reserves.