Open: $1,215.00 Close: $1,191.80 | High: $1,220.70 Low: $1,191.80

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The price of gold opened this week at a dismal $1,215—such a low price point that mining industries may be shutting down operations soon. In the past 18 months, as gold has steadily declined, several gold producers have reduced output or closed altogether. Analysts expect the yellow metal may be reaching another tipping point where a higher number of mines are taken off the market, or, conversely, miners put more energy into mining practices that extract higher-grade raw metals.

The socio-political unrest in Hong Kong pushed gold prices up by a small percentage by the end of day Monday, but fell again on Tuesday. A stronger dollar and anticipation for higher U.S. interest rates continue to spur a decline in gold. However, Wednesday saw gold prices hit an incline as traders entered the market at the lower price point set on Tuesday, taking advantage of the sell off attitude. Thursday’s gold prices maintained a fairly steady rate. The market was quiet as traders anticipated a release of U.S. economic data on Friday.

$1,200 is a psychologically important price point for gold traders, and by the end of the week, gold had slipped below this significant level. The economic data released on Friday showed stronger-than-expected employment rates. The unemployment rate has fallen below 6%, the lowest it’s been since 2008. This news is a strong indication that the Federal Reserve will soon decide to raise interest rates, which would be a strong bearish move for gold. Good news for the economy is bad news for hedge funds like gold. The price of gold at the beginning of 2014 was $1,207 and as of this week, gold has officially gone negative for the year, closing the week at $1,191.