Gold prices surged 13% Friday morning to $1,305.40 per ounce as volatility increased and investors rushed to safer assets.

On Thursday, gold closed at its seventh-highest price so far this year. At the same time, investors pulled $7.4 billion from equity funds.

The mass exodus from the equities market comes as the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX.X) , widely known as Wall Street's fear gauge, surged 30% in one day for the second time this month on Thursday. The index has jumped 30% three times this year, putting 2017 in line with 2015 and 1990 in volatility and behind only 2011.

As volatility spiked, the S&P 500 Index recorded its biggest one-day decline since May on Thursday. The index trended down 0.3% Friday morning.

Causes for market volatility abound. CEOs and business leaders fled from President Trump's Manufacturing Council, and Strategy and Policy Forums after the President's lukewarm reaction to racist violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, leading the President to disband both groups he created. Tensions with North Korea have subsided some, but remains on the burner as a nuclear threat lingers in the minds of investors.

All issues considered suggest President Trump's tax reform policy won't get much attention as his administration puts out other, more pressing fires. To add pressure to international markets, losses Thursday were compounded by a Barcelona terrorist attack that killed 14 people for which ISIS claimed responsibility.

Related: Jim Rogers Says the 'Worst Crisis in his Lifetime' is Coming

 

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