Fear is very much the overriding sentiment, as reflected in the price movement in gold over the last 48 hours. This break for the precious metal above $1415 looks to have opened the door to higher levels.
Under normal circumstances the scheduled speech from Bank of England governor Mark Carney would have been the focus for traders, but comments from the UK government have superseded this to a certain extent.
Meanwhile, G4S has announced an aggressive strategy to turn around its fortunes, following a disastrous 2012 but a far from impressive 2013 to date. The security firm will be embarking on asset-stripping and cost-cutting, and issuing new shares equating to 9.99% of the company. With the share price up 3.7% so far today, early indications are that traders and investors are impressed.
As we’re still in August, trading volumes remain on the thin side, but next week volumes should begin to return to normal levels. Looking ahead to the US open, it looks very much like Wall Street will also be opening at lower levels.