Forexpros - Gold futures were down sharply on Wednesday, adding to heavy losses from the previous session after stronger-than-expected data on U.S. durable goods orders helped ease fears over the U.S. economic outlook.
On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for October delivery traded at USD1,808.95 a troy ounce during U.S. morning trade, tumbling 2.7%.
It earlier fell as much as 2.92% to trade at USD1,804.95 a troy ounce, the lowest price since August 18.
The U.S. Census Bureau said earlier that core durable goods orders, excluding transportation items, rose by 0.7% in July, confounding expectations for a 0.4% decline.
The previous month's figure was revised up to 0.6% from a previously reported 0.1% increase.
Durable goods orders including transportation items jumped by 4.0% in July, doubling expectations for a 2.0% gain. June's figure was revised to a 1.3% drop from a previously reported 2.1% decline.
Mounting speculation of an imminent margin requirement hike from the CME Group also weighed on prices, after the Shanghai Gold Exchange raised margins on its gold futures contracts on Tuesday.
Gold futures sank as much as 5% in the two days following the last CME margin hike on August 11.
On Tuesday, gold futures plunged nearly 3.65%, the biggest one-day drop since February 2010, as strong gains on Wall Street dented the appeal of the precious metal.
Global financial service provider Credit Suisse warned in a report late Tuesday that gold prices remain susceptible to a further correction in the short-term, "before stabilizing and resuming its uptrend".
Meanwhile, markets continued to look ahead to Friday's speech by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke for any hints regarding fresh stimulus measures.
Elsewhere on the Comex, silver for September sank 2.87% to trade at USD41.07 a troy ounce, while copper for September delivery edged 0.2% higher to trade USD4.019 a pound.