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The plunge in commodities in recent days has included gold, platinum and other precious metals that were popular earlier this year as safe-haven investments as well as hedges against inflation and a falling dollar. But a sharply rising dollar and faltering world economy have reduced that appeal. Gold prices plummeted as low as $720 an ounce Wednesday, the lowest in more than a year.

“Gold is just acting like another commodity at this point,” said Tom Hartmann, a commodity analyst at Altavest Worldwide Trading Inc.