Gold is notching a third day of gains after hitting a two-week high over $1,237 in Asian trading. Physical demand in picking up in Asia over concerns of continuing violence in Thailand, and the threat of another military coup. Gold is trading in New York slightly higher than yesterday, around the $1,230 mark. Silver lost some of its European gains after the New York open, to trade in line with yesterday's action. Platinum is slightly higher, and palladium saw slight gains from yesterday. Platinum is now trading over $170 above gold, at $1,400.
Traders are looking to see if gold holds on to these gains, which may signal that the recent drop to $1,180 formed a double bottom, and indicate rising prices. The yellow metal is getting support from safe haven demand, and traders looking to diversify as the stock market seems to be topping out.
The dollar was down on volatile activity overnight, finally breaking into the green in early U.S. trading. The dollar gained on the euro and pound on profit-taking in these currencies, but was weaker against the yen, which is seeing safe haven demand in Asia.
Chinese and Hong Kong stocks were lower on weak earnings and the news that China service sector PMI for December was the lowest in four months. Euro stocks were supported by good earnings reports, and an improving employment situation in Spain. Wall St. opened higher after recent losses.
Market volumes in all sectors is still thin, and many traders will be affected by the huge blizzard in the northeastern U.S., leaving the computer algorithms to run the market. Outgoing Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke gives a farewell press conference today, which may move these thin markets.