Comex August gold fell $76.50, or 5.56%, to 1,229.50 in early morning trading Thursday. The August contract traded as low as $1,285.00 in overnight trading as the U.S. dollar rose to the highest in more than a week against six major currencies.
Gold prices plunged Thursday to near three-year lows as precious metals investors took a "risk-off" stance following Wednesday's FOMC meeting. Bernanke announced that the current $85 billion worth of monthly bond purchases could slow near the end of this year, and end in 2014, if the economy keeps improving.
He said interest rates could increase "far in the future."