Spot gold prices ticked gently lower in the Asian session on Thursday, dipping $1 from last night's US close to open Europe at $665 per ounce.
"Oil is down this morning and so is gold," said one Singapore trader this morning.
Yet oil dropped 0.4% to $63.83 overnight. Gold gave back barely 0.1%.
On the currency markets, the Dollar was little changed after Fed chairman Ben Bernanke's comments on the US economy Wednesday.
Following the initial shock to US stocks, today's press coverage sees Bernanke playing it careful when he spoke to Congress. (Why should the Fed matter to gold investors? Click here to find out...)
"Bernanke said the Federal Reserve needed more flexibility," reports the London Times.
But the paper also adds that the "chairman rejects fears of a recession."
New data yesterday showed durable goods orders slowing fast. The tightening of credit standards in the US mortgage market could cut out 500,000 home-buyers, according to research from Bear Stearns.
(To learn more about the scale of the US housing slump – and Ben Bernanke's comments – by clicking here now...)
Back in the gold market, and against Sterling this morning gold for investment opened London at £338.60 per ounce.
Eurozone gold buyers, the price of bullion slipped to €499 after climbing above the key €500 mark – a one-month high – three times on Wednesday.
Gold investing for Japanese buyers, meantime, climbed back to ¥78,150 – unchanged from this time last week – as the Yen fell back on the forex markets.
"Expectations of liquidation ahead of the end of the first quarter [means] we see some pressure on gold prices both at the Tocom and overseas," says Kazuhiko Saito, senior analyst at Interes Capital in Tokyo.
The Tocom's benchmark gold futures contract, due for delivery in Feb. '08, slipped 0.4% to the equivalent of $668.94 per ounce.
US gold futures traded in Singapore for June delivery slipped 0.2% to $671.70.
Where might gold move today?
Referring to the ongoing row over 15 British marines seized by Iran last week, "it is a situation where external events could surely induce volatility in gold prices," reckons David Moore at Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
"A further rise in crude oil could help gold move towards $670 in the near term."
In Dubai, Pradeep Unni at Vision Commodities agrees.
"Though markets cool off as the issue subsides, it gives us clues to the sort of potential bull run crude oil and gold can witness when a global unrest of this order emerge."
Is that really true? Gold held steady above $600 even as crude oil sank below $60 per barrel in the last few months of last year.
And history says that gold rarely acts the "safe haven" everyone expects in response to short-term shocks.