CHICAGO, Sept. 22 (Xinhua) -- Gold futures on the COMEX Division of the New York Mercantile Exchange suffered a major setback Thursday, pressured by the newly-gained strength of U.S. dollar, as investors turned to cash amid intensified concerns over global slowdown. Silver and platinum both crashed.
The most active gold contract for Dec. delivery slumped 66.4 dollars, or 3.7 percent, to 1,741.7 dollars per ounce.
HSBC's preliminary China Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index, showed output continued to contract in Sept., worsening investors' concerns over a broadening slowdown in the Chinese economy.
U.S. stocks opened sharply lower on the heels of selloffs in Asian and European stocks, and prices plunged further as the session progressed. In response, investors flocked to safe-harbor currencies such as the U.S. dollar and Japanese yen.
The precious metal markets nosedived as the steep losses in U.S. and European equity markets prompted investors to sell their holdings in the precious metal to cover losses elsewhere.
Meanwhile, the market sentiment was also hit by Fed language in Wednesday's policy statement. Some traders expressed concerns that the U.S. central bank's swap program may not be able to stir the economy.
Platinum and palladium, which have more industrial applications than gold, took a more severe beating than bullion.
Silver for Dec. delivery crashed 3.891 dollars, or 9.6 percent, to 36.578 dollars per ounce. Platinum for Oct. delivery plunged 77. 6 dollars, or 4.3 percent, to 1,710.6 dollars per ounce.