(Kitco News) -Comex gold futures prices ended higher and hit a fresh four-week high Tuesday, on a surprise rise in U.K. consumer prices. A weaker U.S. dollar index and an improving technical posture also supported fresh investor buying interest in gold Tuesday. Comex April gold last traded up $10.00 at $1,375.10 an ounce. Spot gold last traded up $12.60 at $1,375.00.

A reported rise in U.K. consumer price inflation that was double the Bank of England's target rate helped push gold prices higher Tuesday. While gold was boosted on the U.K. inflation data, the more highly anticipated Chinese inflation data, also issued Tuesday, came in lower than expected. Still, with the Continuous Commodity Index at a record high level this week and with world economies growing more rapidly coming out of recessions, the specter of problematic consumer price inflation worldwide is very real, and many believe very likely, in the coming months. Throw in the fact that major central banks of the world have been "printing money" and that's significantly gold-market-bullish.

The U.S. dollar index traded weaker Tuesday, on a corrective pullback from recent gains. The weaker dollar index was an underlying bullish factor for the precious metals. However, the dollar index still has some near-term technical momentum in the bulls' favor.

Reports overnight said renowned investor George Soros had increased his holdings in the SPDR Gold Trust during the fourth quarter of 2010. Other "heavy hitters" in the investment world also were holding onto their long-gold positions.

The London P.M. gold fix was $1,372.75 versus the previous P.M. fixing of $1,365.00.

Technically, April Comex gold futures prices closed nearer the session high Tuesday and hit a fresh four-week high. The gold market bulls Tuesday gained fresh upside near-term technical momentum. A three-week-old price uptrend is in place on the daily bar chart. The gold market bulls have the overall near-term and longer-term technical advantage. Bulls' next near-term upside technical breakout objective is to produce a close above solid technical resistance at $1,394.70. Bears' next near-term downside price breakout objective is closing prices below solid technical support at $1,350.00. First resistance is seen at Tuesday's high of $1,377.50 and then at $1,380.00. First support is seen at $1,369.70 and then at Tuesday's low of $1,361.30. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 7.0.

March silver futures closed up 25.1 cents at $30.785 an ounce Tuesday. Prices closed nearer the session high and hit another fresh six-week high. The bulls have the solid near-term technical advantage. Prices are in a steep three-week-old uptrend on the daily bar chart. The next downside price breakout objective for the bears is closing prices below solid technical support at $29.50. Bulls' next upside price breakout objective is producing a close above solid technical resistance at the January contract and 30-year high of $31.27 an ounce. First resistance is seen at Tuesday's high of $30.905 and then at $31.00. Next support is seen at Tuesday's low of $30.475 and then at $30.275. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 8.5.

March N.Y. copper closed down 930 points at 453.55 cents Tuesday. Prices closed near the session low after hitting another fresh contract and record high early on. Price action today scored a big and bearish "outside day" down on the daily bar chart, and if there is good follow-through selling pressure on Wednesday, a bearish "key reversal" down would be confirmed, which would be one early technical clue that a near-term market top is in place. But right now the copper bulls still have the solid near-term technical advantage. Bulls' next upside breakout objective is pushing and closing prices above solid technical resistance at 470.00 cents. The next downside price breakout objective for the bears is closing prices below solid technical support at last week's low of 454.35 cents. First resistance is seen at 455.00 cents and then at 457.50. First support is seen at Tuesday's low of 452.65 cents and then at 450.00 cents. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 7.5.

By Jim Wyckoff of Kitco News; jwyckoff@kitco.com

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