Gold and the worry trade

By Felix Salmon
May 11, 2010

Is it a coincidence that the price of gold hit an all-time high just as David Cameron was becoming the prime minister of Britain? Yes. But it’s also indicative of the enormous amount of uncertainty that continues to pervade the market. If you’re just looking at the stock market, you’re not looking at the most sensitive barometer of fears about the global economy in general and the eurozone in particular. As Paul Krugman notes, the euro/dollar exchange rate is probably a better place to look, and that’s now back down below 1.27, after trading at 1.50 as recently as December. For what it’s worth, here’s the price of gold in euros:

gold.jpg

It’s entirely conceivable that we could see gold at €1,000 an ounce pretty soon. Which, just as much as recent stock market volatility, is a pretty clear indication that there’s still a lot of worry out there, trillion-dollar eurozone bailout plans notwithstanding.

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