Gold prices are on track to lose nearly 25% this quarter
after sliding to a 34-month low.
August contract for gold fell more than 4% to
$1,227.10 an ounce early Wednesday, taking the price down to the lowest level
since August 2010. Prices had been nearly $1,600 at the start of the quarter
and had topped $1,900 for the first time last
Fears that the Federal Reserve will pull back
on stimulus has been particularly bad
for gold, which had been driven higher by worries that the Fed's stimulus
efforts would weaken the dollar and cause inflation.
selling spilled over to gold mining operators as well. Randgold Resources (GOLD) and Barrick
Gold (ABX) were both down more than 4%,
and the SPDR
Gold Shares Trust (GLD) ETF slid nearly 4%. Silver
prices also fell more than 5%.