Gold hit a three-week low in Asian trading overnight, but is seeing slight support in the U.S. market. Equities markets worldwide are down once again on “taper terrors”, after two Fed presidents made remarks yesterday advocating the reduction of the $85 billion a month in bond buying by the Federal Reserve.
President of the Dallas Federal Reserve Richard Fisher, when asking about tapering the quantitative easing program, said “we should start in September”, unless the economic data takes a big downturn in the next month. Similarly, Chicago Fed president Charles Evans, author of the “Evans Rule” that has defined the latest round of quantitative easing, said he would not rule out a September date for the start of tapering.
In addition to tapering fears, the Nikkei saw the yen hit a seven-week high against the swooning dollar, and pre-positioning for options expiry to send the Japanese index down 4% – the largest drop in two months. Hong Kong shares saw their worst day in five weeks, dropping 1.5%.
Taper fears hit the Eurozone, with the markets in the red until a huge surprise jump in German factory output was announced – up 2.4% over last month’s drop of 0.8%. This helped Euro stocks close barely above unchanged.
Wall St. is seeing its third straight day of losses, as tapering fears go ahead and convince some traders to take profits. Some traders believe we’re near a top in the market anyway, so it wasn’t a hard sell. Others of course think this is just a breather before the markets head higher.
Frankly, I wish Bernanke would go ahead and pulled the trigger if he’s going to shoot, so the markets can settle down. If he isn’t, they Fed officials need to shut up instead of constantly roiling the markets.