Gold futures slumped to their lowest level in three months Friday, as lawmakers in Washington seemed closer to ending the gridlock over the federal budget.
Investors often buy gold to protect themselves from economic turmoil. But the safe-haven asset was on pace to record its fourth straight day of losses after Republicans in the House and Senate concluded meetings with President Obama.
The December contract tumbled $28.20, or 2.2%, to $1,268.70 a troy ounce. Futures traded as low as $1,259.60, the lowest intraday price since July 10.
Heavy volume Friday morning caused a very brief halt by CME Group (CME) for the December gold futures contract.
So far this year, gold is down about 23% with investors eyeing the end of the Federal Reserve’s bond-buying program. Higher interest rates have also contributed to the decline, as traders turn to other assets.
Silver futures were also on the decline Friday, trading 2.9% lower at $21.27 an ounce.