In recent days, a number of key events happened, like the ECB meeting last week-end, the US rating downgrade and over the weekend, the decisions of a number of euro zone governments and once more the ECB, which will have an important impact on all markets.
The financial markets which clearly were already in crisis-mode last week, as fears about a double dip recession in the US and more general weakening growth in the industrial world and emerging countries resurfaced.
The steep declines in equities were the most eye-catching move. However, also commodities and other riskier assets like some Central European currencies and peripheral euro bonds were under sharp downward pressure.
The traditional beneficiaries of the safe haven trades were notably gold, the Swiss franc, the Japanese yen and the core US and EMU bonds.
Swiss and Japanese authorities tried to stop the appreciation of their currencies via still lower rates (Swiss) and FX interventions (Japan).