Today’s 9.3% drop in the price of gold was the largest one-day drop in 30 years. The sell-off began in Asia last night, continued through the day in Europe, and wound up slamming U.S. markets as well. Silver prices fell about 11% to its lowest one day close in more than two years.
WTI crude oil closed below $89 a barrel and natural gas fell nearly 2%. The SPDR Gold Shares trust (NYSEMKT: GLD) lost 8.8% today to close at $131.31 after posting a new 52-week low of $130.51 earlier today.
Among equities, gold mining stocks took the brunt of the punishment with Barrick Gold Corp. (NYSE: ABX), Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (NYSE: FCX), and Newmont Mining Corp. (NYSE: NEM) down across the board.
The slide is related to a slower-than-expected growth rate in China’s GDP, which rose just 7.7% in the first quarter. Also factoring in were lower-than-expected readings on home builder confidence and the Empire State manufacturing index.
Rather than dig in for more gold to guard against inflation, investors turned to U.S. government bonds. Yield were down by about 4 basis points on 10-year notes and about 5 basis points on 30-year bonds.