Gold prices today (Friday) fell to fresh new lows below the $1,200-an-ounce threshold for the first time since mid-December.
In theory, we have free markets, where manipulation is illegal and punishable.
We've found that's not often the case in the financial markets.
Unfortunately, this web of "disruptive practices" and "market rigging" is not likely to change any time soon.
Despite a government "crackdown" on illegalities that occasionally makes the headlines.
The problem may be especially manifest in the futures market.
After being on track for a third-straight session gain, gold prices today (Wednesday) plummeted following afternoon announcements from the U.S. Federal Reserve.
Today (Thursday), gold fell to its lowest level since January. There are three reasons why today's gold price is going down...
A few years ago I issued a gold price forecast of $5,000 an ounce. I still believe that's a realistic price target - and now prominent gold mining experts are following suit.
Rob McEwen, founder and former chair and CEO of GoldCorp, said in a recent interview, "I'm a long-term believer in gold and I see it ultimately getting to $5,000 an ounce."
Indian gold demand fell 39% at 204.1 tons in the second quarter according to data released by the World Gold Council (WGC) last week. Gold jewelry demand was also down 18% at 154.5 tons.
Import duties leftover from a currency crisis in 2013 have stifled Indian gold demand from their origination through this Q2.
Gold price forecast, Aug. 29, 2014: Buying gold during the late days of summer has proved to be a winning trade for most of the last two decades, according to Bloomberg.
Indeed, September is historically gold's best month. Over the last 20 years, the yellow metal has seen an average gain of 3% in September.
With gold prices up some 360% over the last decade, the lure of easy profits has created a whole new industry - illegal gold mining.
But the practice is hurting legitimate gold miners and costing countries millions in taxes and export revenue.
The SPDR Gold Trust Exchange-Traded Fund (NYSE Arca: GLD), one of the two major gold ETFs that trade in the United States, dropped more than 1.2% last week, from $124.77 to $123.18.
Gold prices today (Thursday) climbed higher in morning trading, on track for global gains across three consecutive trading sessions.
Today's gold prices fell to levels not seen since mid-June. By market close Thursday, the yellow metal will have fallen for a fifth-straight session - its longest slump since June 2.
Gold investing 2014 update: Gold prices have had a strong first half in 2014. At the midpoint in July, the yellow metal had gone up 9.2% in value.
Investors in physical gold have benefited from the rise. Throughout the year, gold has consistently outperformed other major asset classes like U.S. treasuries and equities.
Two themes have dominated gold news the last few months, and both have opposite effects on gold price.