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Gold Caps Biggest Annual Rout Since ’81 as Investors Lose Faith

Gold futures, which reached a six-month low today, posted the biggest annual slump in three decades as an improving economy cut demand for wealth protection. Silver touched the lowest since July.

Bullion futures for February delivery fell 0.1 percent to settle at $1,202.30 an ounce at 1:39 p.m. on the Comex in New York, after touching $1,181.40, the lowest since June 28. Prices fell 28 percent this year. Investors lost faith in the metal as a store of value as equities rallied and an economic recovery prompted the Federal Reserve to pare its $85 billion in monthly bond purchases. Silver dropped 36 percent in 2013 to $19.37 an ounce, the biggest annual drop since 1981.