Gold exchange traded funds were moving lower Thursday after the Chicago Mercantile Exchange raised margin requirements to trade Comex gold futures contracts.

SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD) was down more than 2% in midday trading.

Silver prices plunged this spring following similar margin hikes in silver prices.

The CME raised margins on gold contracts by 22% after the precious metal recently touched $1,800 an ounce.

For traders, the question is whether the CME move will slow gold’s powerful rise with investors worried over the European debt crisis, U.S. credit downgrade and a weak global economy.

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