Just as April showers bring May flowers, plentiful monsoon rains in India tend to drive up demand for gold jewelry among rural, income-flush farmers, who make up a third of the country’s consumption of the yellow metal.
Nineteen years ago, South Korea came precipitously close to bankruptcy. The Asian financial crisis had spread like a virus. Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and other Southeast Asian countries were all affected, inciting fears of a global economic meltdown if the crisis couldn’t be contained.
The consumer price index (CPI), a measure of inflation, came in hotter than expected Friday, registering 2.3% year-over-year in August on expectations of 2.0%. With the five-year Treasury yielding 1.19%, government bond investors are now receiving a negative real rate of return (because 2.3 minus 1.19 comes out to negative 1.11%).