Gold hit a two and a half week high just shy of $1,300 in overnight trading and sparking a fresh round of short covering, as global markets react to Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's dovish remarks after the market close in the U.S. Bernanke said that easy money policies will continue "for some time to come", while the economy is still on shaky legs.
His remarks sent the dollar sharply lower, and stocks around the world higher. Despite the weakness in the dollar and concurrent boost to commodities, oil futures were lower on profit taking and an International Energy Agency report that non-OPEC sources of oil will increase in 2014.
Stocks in the U.S. opened 1% higher, following the lead of Asian and European stocks. The fact that first-time jobless claims climbed last week by 16,000 when analysts expected a drop of 4,000 did little to dampen the party.
Chinese stocks saw their best day in 7 months on Bernanke's speech and the rumors that the Chinese government would begin targeted stimulus measures to invigorate their economy. Shanghai stocks were up 3.7%, and Hong Kong stocks hitched a ride, rising 2.6%. The Nikkei was up only slightly in the face of a stronger yen.
It was much the same story in Europe, as euro stocks rallied to a five-week high. The euro strengthened two cents to 1.30 on dollar weakness. All was not sunshine and roses, however, as Portuguese and Spanish stocks were hit hard, and Italy failed to hit its target in yesterday's bond sale.
Analysts report growing open positions in gold futures, and Options Express reports that we may see a near-term reversal upwards in gold prices. The Relative Strength Index has been reporting an oversold condition for a while, and the charts indicate a possible small W bottom reversal higher may be building.