Gold for December delivery at the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange was falling $32.20 to $1,331.60 an ounce. The gold price traded as high as $1,366.20 and as low as $1,325.60 an ounce, while the spot price was diving $34.73.
The Labor Department reported Thursday that jobless claims for the week ending Sept. 7 dropped to 292,000, which was a decrease from the prior week's figure of 323,000. Economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters were expecting claims to rise to 330,000. Investors should note, however, that two states did not file jobless claims in the latest data, which could mean claims actually were higher than reported.
The initial selloff occurred around 3 a.m. New York time during electronic trading when a large sell order in the market triggered computer-powered high frequency trading. That is, a market participant sold a large order of gold at a price below $1,350 an ounce -- a key technical level -- that prompted a surge of automatic trading.This automatic trade typically occurs when a trader or firm becomes concerned that price support for the commodity will rapidly erode, making the asset less valuable. To avoid losing too much value, the trader or firm commands a computer to sell the asset as soon as it reaches a certain level. "The whole concoction