Gold dipped to its lowest AM fix in three weeks today. Traders say the market has clocked off early for Christmas.
"There are clear signs that things are slowing down for Christmas," said one economist to Reuters, "even though it's still a few days away. Gold remains tied to the Dollar and the Dollar has broadly stabilised compared with the big moves a couple of weeks ago."
But moves in the currency markets do mean there's action in gold for non-US investors. Gold has risen against the Euro so far today. It's also regained yesterday's levels versus Sterling despite fresh data saying that UK interest rates are likely to rise.
UK retail sales rose 3.2% last month from November '05. The Bank of England's latest "Inflation Attitudes" survey reports that 72% of consumers expect base rates to rise in the next year, compared with 65% in August. The survey also puts consumer estimates of inflation above the official rate. That means wage-push inflation looks set to rise further.
Are the central bank policy wonks listening to what consumers are saying? There's nothing like a good "survey" to fudge the real data – find out more here...