* Silver falls as much as 9.8%
* Palladium set for worst week since November
* Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus: tmsnrt.rs/3mvcUoa (Recasts, adds comments, updates prices)
Jan 8 (Reuters) – Gold slumped more than 4% on Friday and silver followed with a near 10% plunge as prospects for a smooth transition of power in Washington and a jump in U.S. Treasury yields hammered the precious complex.
Spot gold fell as low as $1,828.36 and was last down 3.6% at $1,843.06 per ounce at 2:45 p.m. EST (1945 GMT), en route to register its worst week since November. U.S. gold futures settled down 4.1% to $1,835.40.
“Gold is having a major fundamental shift for many investors and they’re starting to abandon their safe haven trade,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA.
“You’re probably going to see that the Treasury market sees some strong flows and that’s taking away some of the appeal from gold.”
Democrat control of the U.S. Senate has raised bets for large stimulus, lifting the benchmark 10-year bond yield to its highest since March.
Since U.S. President Donald Trump has agreed to an orderly transition of power, there’s been some “temporary profit-taking,” said Jeffrey Sica, founder of Circle Squared Alternative Investments.
“Once gold broke below $1,900, some of the momentum traders continued to execute sell orders.”
While gold has generally been seen as a hedge against the inflation that could result from widespread stimulus, especially last year, that has changed as higher bond yields increase the opportunity cost of holding non-interest yielding bullion.
“We’re going to see a lot more of stimulus and that ultimately moved interest rates higher,” said Bart Melek, head of commodity strategies at TD Securities.
Some analysts also said a few investors could have also diverted funds to Bitcoin, which has extended a meteoric rally.
Silver slid 7.3% at $25.14 per ounce, after falling as much as 9.8%, while palladium eased 2.6% to $2,356.23 per ounce. Both metals were set to face their worst week since November.
Platinum dipped 5% to $1,060.87, paring an earlier 6.2% drop. (Reporting by Shreyansi Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Kirsten Donovan and Sonya Hepinstall)