Equity markets have, at least for the time being, run out of steam, and equity traders are asking more frequently if this correction is in fact a change in trend. It is a little too early to tell the answer, but the uncertainty hanging over the markets is helping to prop up the gold price. Unfortunately for gold bugs, the last couple of weeks’ disappointing economic data from the US has been taken as an indication that the Fed will maintain its current policy of quantitative easing. Normally, bad news helps in the ‘flight-to-safety' trade, however of late it has actually been counterproductive. Of course, trading sideways is helping the longer-term bulls’ target to break out of the negative trend in which gold has been stuck for the last ten months.
Last night’s comments from Japanese Prime Minister Abe were not seen as sufficiently convincing by the markets, as he was due to announce the third tranche of initiatives that would help turn Japan's economy around and weaken the yen. With this speech being taken so badly, we have seen the yen strengthen against the US dollar, and therefore the knock-on effect of general dollar weakness.