Having seen sharp falls during Tuesday's US trading, gold prices regained some lost ground Wednesday morning, climbing as high as $1,583 per ounce, while stocks and commodities were broadly flat and US Treasuries dipped.
The euro also rose after hitting a new two-year low on Tuesday, while by Wednesday lunchtime Spain's Ibex stock index was up nearly 1% on the day despite news that ordinary Spanish investors may have losses imposed on them as part of Spain's banking sector restructuring.
A day earlier, gold fell by more than 2% on Tuesday after briefly touching $1,600.
"The market looked non directional with low volumes," says a note from Swiss refiner MKS.
"Profit taking kicked in around $1,600."
Silver prices also saw a slight bounce this morning, hitting a high of $27.24 per ounce falling a 3% fall on Tuesday.
"The silver market saw a rather wide trade range [on Tuesday]," says a note from commodities exchange operator CME Group, "which in turn probably emboldened the bear camp from a technical perspective."
Tuesday brought news of the collapse of Iowa futures brokerage PFGBest amid allegations that client funds have gone missing.
"The whereabouts of the funds is currently unknown," said a complaint from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which says the brokerage's owner, who is reported to have attempted suicide, lied to regulators to cover a shortfall of more than $200 million.
An estimated $1.6 billion of client money went missing last year when brokerage MF Global went bankrupt.
Investment bank Jefferies confirmed yesterday it had begun liquidating PFGBest positions.
"If Jefferies is doing an orderly liquidation, you have to believe that there have to be some concerns about 'Do I let [my] positions go?'" says George Nickas, commodities broker at INTL FCStone.
"You've got a higher degree of emotions now in a quiet market...with the €100 billion being made available to Spanish banks, gold should not be lower," he added.
European leaders agreed last month that Spain could borrow up €100 billion for rescue funds to recapitalize its banking sector, while this week Eurozone finance ministers agreed €30 billion will be made available by the end of this month.
Banks that receive official aid however will be required to write off their subordinated bonds and preferred shares, according to a draft Memorandum of Understanding obtained by Spanish newspaper El Pais.