TARNISHED GOLD: Gold plunged 5.6 percent to $1,757 an ounce, two days after crossing above $1,900 for the first time, as investors grew more confident about the global economy. It was the steepest percentage drop since March 2008. Gold is still up 24 percent for the year.
THE IMPETUS: Recent economic news has been more encouraging. Orders for durable goods jumped 4 percent in the U.S. last month. Retail sales and industrial production also improved. That combined with higher stock prices this week eased some of investors' concerns about the economy, leading them to sell gold.
MIXED BAG: Oil fell slightly and other metals were mostly lower. Wheat, corn and soybeans all fell.