As investors collectively wring their hands over the outcome of the U.S. "fiscal cliff" negotiations, one asset in particular has emerged as one of the biggest losers: gold.
Both safe-haven and risk asset, the yellow metal had no shortage of fans up until very recently. Washington's efforts to rein in its budget deficit has forced gold's nearly 12-year rally to hit the craggy rocks.
If the current trend continues, gold will see a relatively meager 5.7-percent gain this year – its lowest return since 2008 and just a fraction of its nearly 30 percent yield in 2010. On Friday, gold traded around $1660 an ounce – well below the record high of $1920 reached in September 2011.
Some say the correction is largely due to uncertainty over the fiscal cliff, when tax increases and spending cuts kick in.