Producers of metals and other raw materials fell as investors retreated from risk and the dollar gained against other currencies.
Gold futures, which are particularly sensitive to moves in the dollar, closed around the psychologically significant $1900 an ounce level, while silver futures plunged by more than 10%.
Industrial metals also sold off as bets on a near-term snapback for the global economy were reversed.
Copper futures fell 2.5% to $6,676 a metric ton in London trade.
Soybeans retreated somewhat from a two-year high, driven by renewed demand for grain imports in China.
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