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In financial markets, decoupling occurs when the returns of one asset class diverge from their expected or normal pattern of correlation with others. Decoupling thus takes place when different asset classes that typically rise and fall together start to move in opposite directions, such as one increasing and the other decreasing.

One example might be seen with oil and natural gas prices, which typically rise and fall together.1

Decoupling would happen if oil moves in one direction while natural gas moves in the opposite direction.

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