CHICAGO, Sept. 12 (Xinhua) -- Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange Thursday fell sharply to the lowest level since Aug. 13 on massive selling orders.
The most active gold contract for December delivery dropped 33. 2 dollars, or 2.43 percent, to settle at 1,330.6 dollars per ounce.
With no new developments on Syria or the Federal Reserve's meeting, investors began to study technical charts. Market analysts say that as the technical support levels of 1,357 dollars and 1,350 dollars per ounce have been broken, gold market is now open to more selling.
Massive selling orders early Thursday have caused a circuit breaker to trip, and the electronic trading on Globex has shut down for 20 seconds.
U.S. Labor Department reported Thursday that the number of new applications for U.S. jobless benefits dropped by 31,000 to 292, 000 in the week ending Sept. 7, the lowest level since April 2006. Though government officials attributed the surprising plunge to computer-related glitches instead of a sudden improvement in the labor market, the lower than expected jobs data still fueled market expectations that the Fed will begin to scale down its bond purchases at the Federal Open Market Committee meeting slated for Sept. 17-18.
Analysts believe that the next support level for gold would be 1,280 dollars.
Silver for December delivery lost 1.023 dollars, or 4.41 percent, to close at 22.149 dollars per ounce. Platinum for October delivery slipped 30.8 dollars, or 2.09 percent, to close at 1,442.7 dollars per ounce.