The tragedy in Japan is only just now beginning to be understood as various reports come in of thousands of deaths, massive flooding, and nuclear facilities that are in danger. Because of this, traders will have to be pragmatic as far as how they approach the FX markets, especially when it comes to the Yen.
Global stocks slid, following the biggest drop in Tokyo since 2008, and Treasuries gained amid concern Japan’s biggest earthquake on record will hurt economic growth. The euro rallied as European leaders agreed to expand the region’s rescue fund.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell 0.6 percent to 1,296.39 at 4 p.m. in New York, paring a drop of as much as 1.4 percent as energy shares rebounded. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average plunged 6.2 percent, with about $285 billion in equity value erased from the Japanese market. Ten-year Treasury yields lost 4 basis points to 3.37 percent. Oil reversed losses after dipping below $99 a barrel. The euro rose against 15 of 16 major peers.
Companies that operate nuclear power plants or supply the fuel helped lead stocks lower, with Entergy Corp. down 4.9 percent in New York and Cameco Corp. tumbling 13 percent in Toronto, while natural gas rallied amid speculation that the atomic-energy industry will suffer as Japan works to contain radiation at damaged reactors. Tiffany & Co. and Coach Inc. lost more than 5.2 percent for the biggest declines in the S&P 500 on concern sales of luxury goods in Japan will slow.
Gold prices will hit $2,500 in the near future.
Government Pushing Gold in China, although it’s rarely mentioned in the Western media, the Chinese government is encouraging their citizens to buy physical gold bullion as part of an effort to cool further investment in the red-hot real estate and housing sectors.
“Unlike the property market, investment in the gold sector is something the government is encouraging,” ICBC’s Zhou told Reuters.
“There is frantic demand for non-physical gold investments. We issued 1 billion yuan ($151 million) worth of gold-price-linked term deposits in 2010, but we managed to sell the same amount over just a few days in January this year,” Zhou said, adding that investors will deposit more than 5 billion yuan ($759 million) in gold-linked accounts this year…
Global markets have climbed and the price of oil fallen after Hosni Mubarak stepped down as Egypt’s president.
“The market will be worried about the risk of contagion within the region and whether the Egyptian example will create a domino effect . They will be looking to be reassured that the region will remain stable over the coming weeks and months.”
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones iindex Dow rose 43.97 points, 0.4%, to 12,273.3, its highest close since June 2008. The Nasdaq index rose 0.7% to 2,809.4 points.
In London, the FTSE 100 shrugged off heavy losses to finish 0.7% higher at 6,062.9 points, while the key French and German markets also enjoyed late surges.
Stocks swaggered through the first four days of the past week with their usual devil-may-care attitude, then tripped into the final three hours on Friday amid scenes of civil unrest in Egypt. At the final count, the Dow Jones Industrials closed down Friday by 1.4%, theS&P 500 fell 1.8%, theNasdaq fell 2.5% and the Russell 2000small-caps sank 2.5%.
For the week, the Dow was only down 0.4%, though, while the S&P was off 0.5%, the Nasdaq was flat and the Russell 2000 small-caps were actually up 0.3%.
Click Here to see how the unrest in Egypt will drive the markets…