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Spot Gold Prices Plunge as Long Liquidation Continues

NEW YORK ( -- Spot gold is again under extreme duress on Monday as bullion bulls continue to bail. "Sell now, ask questions later" appears to be the story here today.

Spot gold was down $127.30 to $1,349.70 per ounce. The SPDR Gold Shares (GLD)closed down $12.64, or 8.8%, at $131.31.

This type of price action here today comes as no surprise. The close on the lows Friday was a pretty decent tip-off that there could be additional bloodshed today in the precious metals markets and at this point that would be an understatement.

Many are wondering what has led to such a dramatic selloff and change in sentiment. There does not appear to be a single, sole catalyst for gold's demise recently but rather a group of issues that have weighed on the market.

It would be logical to assume that the strength in the U.S. Dollar index, along with the strength in the equities markets as well as a strong appetite for risk have played a large role.

Gold prices have not been the beneficiary of perceived safe-haven buying in recent months. Perhaps it is the Federal Reserve that has driven the selling, and the threat of higher interest rates. Or maybe the threat of additional central bank sales following Cyprus.

From a technical standpoint, gold's failure to take out the $1,800 level likely weighed on sentiment. After trading sideways from approximately $1,550-$1,800 since September of 2011, the market finally broke out to the downside not only breaking out of the range but leaving a confirmed double top in place on the monthly chart. This has likely led to a huge amount of technical selling. Likely there was a massive amount of sell stops below the previous trading range, and the price action since those stops were triggered has been swift and severe. In fact, gold has fallen so far so fast it is likely that even some of the more steadfast bullion bulls have now thrown in the towel.

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