Volatility returned big-time to the markets during August, making the holiday month the most hair-raising in four years. After July’s positive returns for both equities and bonds, August was a different story. Daily 200-300 point moves up and down on the S&P500 index were commonplace, bond yields fell in the US and across Europe as bond prices rose, and gold climbed – creating a measure of foreboding. Trump’s tweets that tariffs would be increased, ongoing concern at what is happening in Hong Kong, wider negative bond yields in Europe, uncertainty over Brexit, and algorithmic exaggeration have all contributed to unease equity investors who have turned increasingly to precious metals as their store of value.
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