Trades that moved about 4 million ounces of gold in a matter of minutes awakened the precious metal from its slumber.
After 11:10 a.m. on the Comex in New York almost 40,000 contracts, each representing 100 ounces of the metal, traded in a span of 10 minutes. That triggered a sell-off, sending prices down as much as 1.1 percent.
The trades jolted the market, which has seen 60-day historical volatility languishing near the lowest since 2001. The metal has struggled to sustain the pace of gains from earlier this year as the outlook for rising U.S. borrowing costs curbs demand for non-interest-bearing assets like gold.