Is Ghadhafi dead or alive? Was he shot? U.S. government sources cannot provide any information with almost every American in country awaiting evacuation.

Rumors of a shooting are circulating throughout the world, after Switzerland moved today to freeze any assets held by the possibly former Libyan dictator.

Gold prices downCrude futures were down more than $2 in post-settlement trade and gold dropped $16.30 at the time of this posting, just after the markets closed. Silver and platinum were also down, though copper rose slightly.

The big question will come tomorrow, whether he’s really been shot or is dead? What happens if he re-appears on Libyan state television to say he’s still alive? Where would the markets go?

Most likely, they would spike on such bad news. But Colonel Ghadhafi seems to have nine-lives, and seems to survive many an attack. It is curious if he was shot, who did it and why? Protesters have been generally very peaceful, even though in a rather crazy move, Ghadhafi and his son Saif ordered military action against their own people.

It may be this is part of a coup attempt by his son, who has long awaited the opportunity to become Libya’s next leader. Meanwhile, all five of Libya’s major cities, save Tripoli, have fallen peacefully to the protesters. At present, if alive, Ghadhafi only controls part of Tripoli, where the public is in hiding or has evacuated for safer locations.

Market volatility during these tumultuous times is to be expected and investors should not react out of panic.

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