The commodity, much loved by investors over the past decade, appears to have gone into freefall.
The price of gold fell for the fifth month in a row in February, meaning that the precious metal has completed the longest run of monthly declines since 1996.
Spot gold fell to $1,579 per ounce yesterday, having plunged through the $1,600 an ounce last week – the first time it had breached this level since August.
Gold lost 5pc of its value in February, as improving global economic outlooks lessened demand for the safe haven. Experts blamed a more buoyant stock market, and the growing confidence of both private and institutional investors, many of whom are turning their back on “safe” assets and seeking the higher returns associated with share and high-yield bonds.
Both the US and UK major stock markets continued to rise last month, with the Dow Jones and S&P 500 climbing to almost record highs.
Gold bullion holdings across the globe fell last month and gold exchange traded funds (ETFs) posted losses.
Phillip Streible, senior commodities trader at futures brokerage RJ O’Brien, said: “Investors are reassessing where they have their money allocated at, and they are now focusing on stock markets which have been holding up very firm.”
According to Reuters, the world’s largest gold ETF, SPDR Gold Trust saw investors withdraw money for the seventh consecutive month.
“What we are seeing just now is a lack of love from investors towards gold,” Credit Suisse commodity analyst Karim Cherif said. “Why would you be in a market that doesn’t pay any dividends and yield, and is most likely to underperform in an environment where economic indicators are seen improving?”
Some speculators are saying that now is the time to buy.
By Emma Wall
10:27AM GMT 01 Mar 2013 – The Telegraph