Welcome to the last trading day of the month, and of the quarter. A lot of the action today will be fund rebalancing, end-of-quarter window dressing, and account squaring.
Gold saw a sharp drop overnight at the China open, but had completely recovered by the halfway point in Asian trading. Chinese stocks had their best day in over two months, as they closed up 1.5%. The major movers were banking and real estate, as the credit crunch seemed to be easing. This news also boosted Hong Kong stocks, which rose 1.8%.
The Nikkei in Japan was up 3.5% as industrial output increased at the biggest pace since December 2011, and retail sales also improved. The yen dropped to 99 to the dollar
In Europe, stocks were marginally down, as the euro common currency continues to languish around the 1.30 mark.
The interesting market news this morning is in the U.S., where stocks had opened lower as tech stocks weighed, and the dollar index meandered just below 83. Gold was trending lower after the New York open, when suddenly everything spiked at 10 am. Stocks, the dollar, gold, and silver all jumped. While consumer confidence was reported at 84.1 against an estimate of 83, I suspect someone with "Federal Reserve" in their title is the prime mover of markets this morning.