Precious metals are moderately lower in New York after hitting a five-week high overnight. Profit-taking was to be expected after Friday’s big gains held on through Monday. The dollar was boosted in European trading on news from the Wall Street Journal that the Fed would be trimming its quantitative easing program next week by another $10 billion a month, based on speculation by analyst Jon Hilsenrath. That would bring down the money printing by another 12%, to $65 billion a month.
U.S. stocks opened higher on favorable earnings reports from Verizon and Halliburton, after closing last week with two days of losses and being closed Monday for the Martin Luther King Jr. federal holiday. Euro stocks hit another 5-1/2 year high, on earning reports and news that the Chinese central bank was extending short-term funding to small and medium-sized banks, while trying at the same time to limit speculative cash to large banks.
That liquidity injection by the PBOC helped the Shanghai index and lifted the Hang Seng to a two-month high. In Japan, the Nikkei recovered from a one-week low on expectations of good earnings reports, and hopes of more dovish action by the Japanese central bank.