Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke spoke Tuesday afternoon at the Economic Club of New York and warned that Congress' inability to avoid a full fiscal cliff -- a set of deep spending cuts and major tax cuts expiring that automatically would go into effect at the beginning of 2013 -- could thrust the U.S. economy back into recession.
Gold prices immediately sold off as Bernanke spoke. Investors appeared to realize that Monday's gains on optimistic fiscal cliff negotiations were still at risk of protracted disagreements between the two parties on a detailed solution.
Gold trades at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange will be closed Thursday to observe the Thanksgiving holiday.
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