Ruminating

There was little in the way of hard news to drive gold far either up or down. So, we had subdued trading, which if you look only at the "normal" trading, was positive.

Gold was up about $2.50 before the strengthening dollar drove it back down to near even on the day.

The situation in the Ukraine offers us a confounding problem as investors. Of course, we want peace and an equitable settlement for all parties involved. On the other hand, no one likes to see Russia asserting its hegemony over a smaller, markedly weaker country.

We also are forced to wonder whether the "pull back" that Tsar Putin said would happen actually will happen. So far, intelligence says no. It's hard to conceal the movements of 140,000 heavily armed troops and their vehicles.

People are also wondering what his motive is in asking the Russian-minority separatists to hold off on a referendum on autonomy. Cynics are saying it is designed to undermine the real elections in the whole of Ukraine, which, if carried out properly, would blunt one of Putin's propaganda points, namely that the current Ukrainian government is illegitimate because there was a coup.  

Of course, there was a coup - after a fashion. Russia's hand-picked government was elected illicitly and the people of Ukraine threw off its yoke. As a counterpart, we'd hardly call the American Revolution "a coup."

Janet Yellen's commentary on the state of the U.S. economy was also being digested today. Or re-digested. More focus was put on the comments on the housing market's weakness.

QE3 will be wound down through the summer, with perhaps a pause at some point, but when it ends, there is some smart money saying that Yellen and her new assembly on the FOMC will devise a different stimulus that will target the housing industry specifically.

All of the above considered, gold traded essentially sideways as we await fresh technical impulses and/or market moving news.

As always, wishing you good trading,