Newcrest Mining Ltd. plunged to its lowest in nine years in Sydney as Australian gold producers declined after bullion tumbled to the lowest since 2010.
Newcrest, Australia’s biggest producer, fell 3.7 percent to A$10.35 at the close in Sydney, the lowest since May 14, 2004. OceanaGold Corp. dropped 4.4 percent and Alacer Gold Corp. slid 8.9 percent. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index fell 0.4 percent.
Gold tumbled below $1,300 an ounce, while the dollar headed for a weekly gain against all of its 16 major peers after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke this week said stimulus may be reduced. Bullion has slumped 23 percent this year and is heading for the biggest annual drop since 1981, as some investors lose faith in gold as a protection of wealth.
Bernanke’s comments were “producing a U.S. dollar rally, which is by nature a negative for the yellow metal,” said Anson Rosewall, an institutional dealer at BBY Ltd. in Sydney. “In terms of gold stocks, the question is how many of these guys can survive in an environment of unwinding central bank stimulus by the Fed.”