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Sell-off expected as US investors look to gold and silver

Sell equities and buy precious metals seems to be the order of the day

Silver coins
Silver has risen above $18 an ounce

A slowdown in Chinese manufacturing and some horrible results from European banking titans have left investors in no mood to add to yesterday's gains.

Spread betting quotes indicate the S&P 500 will open at around 2,068, down 13 points from last night's close.

The Dow Jones average looks set to open at around 17,775, some 116 points below last night's close.

Results from European banks UBS, Commerzbank and HSBC also failed to set the heather on fire, but the corporate mood could soon change stateside with announcements from Estee Lauder, Molson Coors Brewing, New York Times, Pfizer and Sprint.

After trading finishes this evening, the deluge continues with updates expected from Avid Budget, CBS, Etsy and Papa John.

Helped by the weakness of the dollar, precious metal prices are rising. Gold has risen above US$1,300 an ounce while silver has moved above US$18 an ounce, and both metals are at their highest levels in 15 months or so.

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