Precious metals gained across the board Tuesday. Gold is once again trying to push through the $990 level and could be the one to watch over the next few days. A test of its year-to-date high of $1,005 could possibly be on the table in the near term as the weakening of US dollar continues. Silver is fast approaching a significant resistance of $16.43. Having touched $16.27 it is currently retreating back below $16.00.

As investors digested the latest data on the housing market and a fresh round of bank capital raising, both the S&P and Dow gained an insignificant 0.2%. Record low mortgage rates were responsible for attracting buyers back to the market according to the US housing market 'pending home sales' report released yesterday. The free fall is perceived to be slowing as the figures released indicated that home sales rose in April for the third month running. A Reuters article released this morning stated that several Asian central Banks will continue to buy US treasuries even with the threat of potential sovereign downgrades.

In the Eurozone, unemployment has soared to the highest for a decade with a seasonally-adjusted jobless rate of 9.2% in April up from 8.9% in march. Also in Europe, Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, broke a tradition yesterday of never commenting on monetary policy by openly attacking the US Federal Reserve, the Bank of England and the European Central bank. Her criticism insinuated in no uncertain terms that their unconventional monetary policies could fuel rather than defuse the current economic crisis. The Chancellor's fears of long term inflationary potential through hyper-loose monetary policies will cause the central banks to strain while trying to absorb the vast amounts of liquidity they are currently pouring into the market.

In the UK, lending to companies and households fell in April by the most since records began more than a decade ago.