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(Kitco News) - Gold and silver prices are posting strong gains in early-afternoon U.S. trading Thursday. Traders in both metals have stepped in to buy the dips on some perceived bargain hunting, and by heavy short covering from the futures traders. Also, precious metals are seeing good buying interest as the U.S. dollar index is posting sharp losses today, on a corrective pullback from recent gains that pushed the index to a 16-month high Wednesday. December gold futures were last up $20.80 an ounce at $1,235.60. December Comex silver was last up $0.458 at $14.74 an ounce.

The precious metals gained today despite upbeat trader and investor risk attitudes. Global stock markets were mostly higher today. U.S. stock indexes are higher in early- afternoon dealings, on an extension of a strong rebound from Monday’s sell-off that drove the indexes to six-month lows. However, those thinking the world stock markets have seen the “all clear” siren as the calendar turns to November are likely going to be disappointed.

Focus in the U.S. is turning to next week’s mid-term elections, which many believe will be a referendum on the performance of President Trump.

The other key outside market today sees December Nymex crude oil prices sharply weaker, hitting a 4.5-month low overnight and trading just above $63.00 a barrel. Recent technical damage on the charts suggests more downside for crude oil in the near term.

The key U.S. economic data point of the week, if not the month, will be Friday’s November employment report from the Labor Department. The key non-farm payrolls number is forecast to come in at up 188,000. However, Wednesday’s ADP national employment report reading of up 227,000 suggests Friday’s jobs report could be stronger than forecast.

Live 24 hours gold chart [Kitco Inc.]

Technically, the gold bulls today regained their slight overall near-term technical advantage. Gold bulls' next upside near-term price breakout objective is to produce a close in December futures above solid technical resistance at the October high of $1,246.00. Bears' next near-term downside price breakout objective is pushing prices below solid technical support at this week’s low of $1,213.40. First resistance is seen at $1,240.00 and then at $1,246.00. First support is seen at $1,225.00 and then at $1,220.00. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 5.5

Live 24 hours silver chart [ Kitco Inc. ]

The silver bears still have the overall near-term technical advantage, but today’s price action suggests a market low was put in place in September. Silver bulls' next upside price breakout objective is closing December futures prices above solid technical resistance at $15.00 an ounce. The next downside price breakout objective for the bears is closing prices below solid support at the September low of $13.965. First resistance is seen at this week’s high of $14.78 and then at $14.88. Next support is seen at $14.50 and then at this week’s low of $14.24. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 3.0.

December N.Y. copper closed up 540 points at 271.30 cents today. Prices closed near the session high and scored a bullish “outside day” up on the daily bar chart after hitting a six-week low early on today. The copper bears still have the firm overall near-term technical advantage. Prices are in a choppy, six-week-old downtrend on the daily bar chart. Copper bulls' next upside price objective is pushing and closing prices above solid technical resistance at the September high of 287.10 cents. The next downside price objective for the bears is closing prices below solid technical support at the August low of 257.45 cents. First resistance is seen at 273.30 cents and then at 275.00 cents. First support is seen at 270.00 cents and then at 267.00 cents. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 3.0.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Kitco Metals Inc. The author has made every effort to ensure accuracy of information provided; however, neither Kitco Metals Inc. nor the author can guarantee such accuracy. This article is strictly for informational purposes only. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in commodities, securities or other financial instruments. Kitco Metals Inc. and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.