Earlier, stocks, gold, and bonds jumped as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke delivered a prepared statement during a testimony before the Joint Economic Committee of Congress.
However, it didn’t take long for everything to head back down in the other direction when the question was put to Bernanke: could the Federal Reserve begin tapering back its bond purchases by labour Day?
Bernanke didn’t rule it out as a possibility as long as there was enough improvement in the economic data to warrant such action.
This isn’t inconsistent with anything that the Fed has said before – bond buying will scale back when the Fed thinks the economy can finally handle less monetary stimulus – but markets took this as an opportunity to sell off.
And gold keeps heading lower. It just edged down a bit more with the release of the minutes from the FOMC’s April 30-May 1 monetary policy meeting.
Now, the shiny yellow metal is trading 1.5% lower on the day, at levels around $1357.
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