Morning Market Update: March 20

March 20th, 2013 by

Gold hit a 3-week high in intra-day trading Tuesday, and hit a 5-1/2 week high in euros. Prices were fairly steady overnight, with physical buying easing in Asia due to higher prices. Gold saw a slight drop in later London trading leading into the COMEX open, but is holding steady this morning. Silver, which has not seen the same degree of appreciation that gold has the last day or two, is trading in a tight 20 cent range near yesterday’s close.

The dollar is slightly weaker today on light profit-taking, after hitting yet another 7.5 month high yesterday. Oil is recovering a bit from yesterday’s losses.

Global markets seem to be recovering from yesterday’s “Cyprus Shock,” though some speculate that the financial turmoil in the small island nation was just an excuse to lock in some profits. The Nikkei in Japan has recovered from yesterday’s losses, and the Chinese index saw its best one-day gain in 2 months as the market unease over the new real estate restrictions ease.

In Europe, both the euro and stocks recovered, but money continues to pour into German bonds in safe haven flight. German bond yields are the lowest they have been since July 2012.

All eyes are on the Federal Reserve today, where the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee (FOMC) wraps up its monthly meeting around noon. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke will be giving a press conference this afternoon announcing the course of action that the $85 billion a month in money printing will follow. Any hints of a reduction of this quantitative easing, even if predicted for far in the future, will cause the markets to swoon.

Wall St. doesn’t seem to be worried this morning, as stocks opened higher after closing flat yesterday.

by David Peterson