Shares in mining and trading company Glencore fell almost 30% and closed at a record low on Monday over concerns it is not doing enough to cut its debt to withstand a prolonged fall in global metals prices.
On Friday, gold declined over 2% and silver lost nearly 7%. The scale of the losses, particularly for silver, surprised participants as there was no breaking news story and markets had largely priced in a no victory in the Swiss gold referendum.
Precious metal prices were unchanged in what dealers called "thin, quiet" Asian and London trade Monday morning, despite increasing fears the U.S. government will fail to meet its obligations in only 10 days' time.
We saw Monday gold, silver and both the large and junior miners dip lower at the open and close above Friday's high on more than triple average volume. This is a significant technical development as it means the gold bulls have regained control at a key technical low.
Wholesale gold prices rose back above $1,430 per ounce Monday morning for the first time since last Monday's price drop, amid reports of strong buying in Asia, while stocks gained and US Treasuries fell.
Wholesale prices for buying gold climbed briefly above $1,400 an ounce Thursday morning, having bounced from a $50-an-ounce drop overnight, with dealers reporting strong demand for physical bullion in Asia.