PRECIOUS-Gold plunges to 5-year lows after early Asia rout

lunes 20 de julio de 2015 16:40 GYT

* Gold sinks more than 4 pct to $1,080

* Analyst cites "bear raid" with Asia illiquid

* Platinum, palladium plunge to multi-year lows

* Huge trading volumes on Shanghai Gold Exchange (Rewrites throughout, updates prices; adds comment, second byline, NEW YORK dateline)

By Marcy Nicholson and Clara Denina

NEW YORK/LONDON, July 20 (Reuters) - Gold prices plunged more than 4 percent to five-year lows on Monday as a sudden bout of selling across Shanghai and New York markets during the illiquid early Asian trading hours triggered a mini flash crash, deepening bullion's biggest rout in years.

A wave of sell orders in a one-minute period shortly after the Shanghai Gold Exchange opened on Monday sent the most-active U.S. gold futures contract down $48 to as low as $1,080 per ounce, its weakest since February 2010.

Within two minutes, an estimated 33 tonnes of gold in Shanghai and New York worth $1.3 billion changed hands. A lack of liquidity, with Japanese markets closed for a holiday, hastened the slide.

The ferocious selling triggered CME circuit breakers twice within one minute just before 9:30 p.m. EDT (0130 GMT) on Sunday.   Continuación...