Wall St. opened mixed today after seeing a slight loss at the close yesterday, and gold is attempting to recover after hitting a five-week low overnight. The absence of physical buying in Asia yesterday, as China, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong markets were all closed for the Lunar New Year holiday, removed a usual support for gold overnight.
Moodys lowered its 2013 economic forecast for the eight largest economies by 0.2% to 1.4%, which put downward pressure on European stocks. Asian stocks gained on expected further depreciation of the yen.
This big news this morning is currency devaluation, as the Group of Seven nations issued a joint statement denying that any of the members are involved in outright currency manipulation. The statement asserted that the monetary policies of the individual nations were aimed at boosting domestic economic growth, and maintained that no one was targeting exchange rates. In addition, a high ranking U.S. Treasury official voiced support for Japan’s new quantitative easing policies, in its efforts to turn around a deflationary economy. After these assurances that Japan was not going to suffer repercussions for their efforts, the yen promptly fell against most major currencies.
In other currency news, the European Central Bank announced that it will ease monetary policy if needed to preserve liquidity in the Eurozone, as banks continue to repay the LTRO emergency loans the ECB handed out at the height of the financial crisis.
The dollar was trading lower after the G-7 statement, after hitting a fresh four-week high overnight. Oil is slightly lower this morning.