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Gold, Silver Prices Down On Weak China Data, Firm U.S. Dollar

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(Kitco News) - Gold and silver prices are lower in early U.S. trading Thursday, pressured by some down beat economic data coming out of China and by a firmer U.S. dollar index today. The metals are also experiencing a corrective pullback after prices hit two-week highs on Wednesday. April gold futures were last down $12.20 an ounce at $1,297.00. May Comex silver was last down $0.226 at $15.23 an ounce.

China’s industrial output fell to a 17-year low in February, at up just 0.43% from January. Year-on-year, the number was up 5.3%. This report is weighing on the gold and silver markets today. China’s economy is the major metals consumer worldwide.

In the back-and-forth rhetoric on the U.S.-China trade war front, President Trump said Wednesday he is in “no rush” to ink a trade deal with China, and reiterated the deal must meet U.S. demands. The past few days had seen the marketplace more optimistic regarding a trade agreement between the world’s two largest economies getting completed soon. Trump’s comments could also be weighing on the metals markets today.

Asian stock were lower overnight and and European stock markets were mostly higher. U.S. stock indexes are pointed toward slightly higher openings when the New York day session begins.

British lawmakers voted late Wednesday on another Brexit plan that said the U.K. would not do a “hard Brexit” on March 29, the date for which the U.K. is set to leave the European Union. Now, the Parliament is expected to vote Thursday on a plan to delay Brexit. However, any extension of the Brexit date must get EU approval. The marketplace is reading this as positive that a “soft Brexit” will occur down the road. While somewhat impacting the European markets, the current Brexit uncertainty is not a major element moving world stock and financial markets.

The other outside market today sees Nymex crude oil prices slightly down and trading around $58.00 a barrel. Prices did hit a four-month high overnight.

U.S. economic reports due for release Thursday include the weekly jobless claims report, import and export prices, and new residential sales.

Live 24 hours gold chart [Kitco Inc.]

Technically, the April gold bulls still have the overall near-term technical advantage. Bulls’ next upside price objective is to produce a close in April futures above solid resistance at $1,320.00. Bears' next near-term downside price breakout objective is pushing prices below solid technical support at the March low of $1,280.80. First resistance is seen at $1,300.00 and then at this week’s high of $1,311.60. First support is seen at the overnight low of $1,295.70 and then at this week’s low of $1,290.60. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 6.0

Live 24 hours silver chart [ Kitco Inc. ]

May silver futures bulls have the slight overall near-term technical advantage. Silver bulls' next upside price breakout objective is closing prices above solid technical resistance at $15.75 an ounce. The next downside price breakout objective for the bears is closing prices below solid support at last week’s low of $14.985. First resistance is seen at the overnight high of $15.47 and then at this week’s high of $15.55. Next support is seen at the overnight low of $15.21 and then at $15.00. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 5.5.

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