Gold prices plunged Thursday, hitting lows not seen since August, after the U.S. Commerce Department reported an unexpectedly robust reading on third quarter U.S. gross domestic product (GDP).
After the surprising strong report, February gold tumbled $14.50 an ounce to $1,653.50 and spot gold sank $22.80 to $1,643.10.
Silver prices fell as well, losing $1.13 to $29.95 shortly before noon. Prior to the report, the yellow and white metals were little changed.
The fresh report revealed GDP in the third quarter expanded at an annual rate of 3.1%, the fastest growth since late 2011. That was up from the 2.7% pace logged last month, and better than economists' expected 2.8% rate.
Phil Streible, a senior commodity broker at R.J. O'Brien & Associates in Chicago told Bloomberg News, "The GDP number was better than forecast, so the thinking is that improving conditions in the economy might mean a light at the end of the tunnel on when the Fed will end QE3."
Gold and silver have been big beneficiaries of the FOMC's generous QE3 programs.
But there's more than the end of QE measures as to why gold prices are down.