For months – years, really – every market participant and their mother has been obsessing over when and how the Fed will finally taper. Now, with two straight months of better-than-expected jobs reports, the likelihood of that actually happening has never been closer. So why is gold, which is the market's proxy for tapering fear, rallying?
"With the US labor market recovery gaining momentum, the hope for stronger global growth in 2014 is motivating investors to take on risk," said Kathy Lien, managing director of FX Strategy at BK Asset Management. In good times, traders often take on more risk by selling "safe" assets like the U.S. dollar and buying riskier items like stocks and gold.
But today's move higher in gold is curious for several reasons; it comes amid a rising dollar and higher yields, two things that typically are not good for gold investors.
"Gold is trying to decide if it wants to continue to price in the taper or if it wants to start pricing in inflation," said Brian Kelly of Brian Kelly Capital.
Other traders are pointing to the technical set-up for the bounce. Traders say the $1,200 level has acted as key support for gold, and today's reversal is encouraging for some.
"I'm bullish after that reversal, especially since the initial reaction was lower, but did not breach recent lows," said Enis Tanner of riskreversal.com. "The chart looks like a double bottom."
So if gold investors are getting increasingly comfortable with the notion of Fed tapering, could the shiny metal regain some of its luster? Watch the video above for some clues in the charts.