There is some evidence in the UK of a pick-up in consumer spending. There are two likely factors behind this, the first perhaps being seasonal, aided by the fine weather. The second is less obvious, but combines with the first to encourage purchases of big ticket items; and this is cheap consumer finance coupled with growing expectations of higher interest rates in the future.
India has a history of gold ownership, spurred by long-term experience of a weak rupee. Only a fool leaves rupees on deposit, because they usually buy less and less every year. Alternative stores of value such as equities have been nowhere as good or certain as gold.
The Fed knows that the US economic recovery remains very fragile which is why it has completely backtracked on talk of reducing its asset purchases. The fact is QE will go on until the market, not government, puts a stop to it.
For a number of weeks the Fed has been talking about “tapering” its asset purchases, and from the recent spike in US government bond yields and the decline in US equities it seems as though investors them at their word. This does however raise an interesting question: If the Fed really is going to begin taking away the punchbowl why is the dollar tanking?
Investors expect the Fed to begin reducing QE as early as this summer. However, whether or not the Fed follows through on “tapering” largely depends on whether the US economy can stand on its own two feet without support from the central bank? Our view is that it cannot and this article examines why that’s the case and why talk of “tapering” is just talk.
Friday was one of those days when so many markets move so dramatically that it’s hard to know what to focus on. But in this case the headline numbers – US stocks way up, gold way down, foreign markets all over the place — matter less than the interest rate on 10-year Treasuries, which spiked.
This regular column reviews the condition of several different markets including: stocks, commodities, currencies and precious metals. This week focuses on the Wilshire 5000, West Texas Intermediate crude oil, palladium, and the Australian dollar.