The old English proverb of 'in like a lion, out like a lamb' to describe the weather in the month of March seemed to fit equally well the markets this year.
The stock markets started the month with real strength, before going on to give up a good chunk of their Q1 gains and then pulling back some of these gains right at the end of the month (the S&P500 being an exception to this, as it performed solidly throughout March). The PMs started in a similarly fierce manner: Gold closed on 1st March at $1725 and silver at $35.50, before they cratered later in the month to $1625 and $31.25, respectively, and then climbed back to close the month at a timid $1668 and $32.28.
A lot of this can be attributed to end-of-quarter portfolio reshuffling (and in the UK the end of March is also the end of the tax year), but there was also renewed nervousness about the state of the world economy, with Chinese data disappointing many economy bulls. So what's next for the markets (both PM and non-PM) and will April finally be the month when PM bulls start to get paid?
I'm going to break this down into a few posts, I think, as it's a big subject. This is the one for gold (the one for silver is now available here). Let's go to the charts...