On Friday, commodities had a selloff, with gold plummeting over 4% to fall below the $1,500 per ounce price. Equity markets around the world dropped following the release of consumer sentiment in the U.S. that was poor and stagnant retail sales. These helped to reinforce the fear that the economy in the U.S. was weaker than expected and could hurt growth globally.
Gold was down to its lowest prices since July of 2011. It was hurt by Cyprus’ draft plan to sell its gold reserves to help its bailout from international lenders. Gold now is nearly 22% below its record price of September of 2011 when it sold at $1,920.30 an ounce.
Despite a commodities selloff, stocks in the U.S trimmed losses by the end of the session to end the week at its second best gain for a week this year.
Silver was the leader in the precious metals sell off dropping by 5.1%. In other commodities, Brent oil dropped to a low of eight months to just over $101 a barrel, but cut its losses to close at nearly $103 per barrel.
Wall Street was down after the Department of Commerce reported that retail sales in the U.S. dropped by 0.4% during March. That marked the second time the in the past three months retail sales have contracted. Analysts had predicted flat retail sales and the decline caused worries over consumer spending, the U.S. economy’s linchpin.
Stocks were also affected by the U.S. consumer sentiment that fell to a low of nine months in April, with most of the negativity over the economy’s long-term health.