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Gold Prices Pounded Lower, Below $1,300, As USDX Rallies

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(Kitco News) - Gold prices are posting strong double-digit losses and have slipped well below the key $1,300.00 level in early U.S. trading Thursday. The precious metals bulls are fading late this week amid a resurgence of the U.S. dollar index. April gold futures were last down $18.90 an ounce at $1,291.40. May Comex silver was last down $0.163 at $15.13 an ounce.

The U.S. economic data point of the day is the just-released third and final reading on fourth-quarter gross domestic product. GDP came in at up 2.2%, which was right in line with the consensus forecast and compares to the last 4Q estimate of up 2.6%. At the same time the U.S. jobless claims report came in and showed a drop in the latest week. The U.S. dollar index rallied to its daily high in the aftermath of the U.S. data releases.

Asian and European stock indexes were mostly firmer overnight. U.S. stock indexes are pointed toward slightly higher openings when the New York day session begins. A bit more risk appetite in the marketplace today is also a negative for the safe-haven metals.

There was more dour economic news coming out of the European Union Thursday, as Euro zone factory export orders fell to a two-year low. The European Commission’s Economic Sentiment indicator—a combination of business and consumer sentiment--fell to 105.5 in March from 106.2 in February, for the lowest reading in 2.5 years.

On the Brexit front, the U.K. Parliament late Wednesday rejected all eight options offered by Prime Minister Theresa May to break the Brexit deadlock. May’s options moving forward on the matter are increasingly limited, with speculation of a general election being held in the near future.

The U.S. and China are holding high-level trade talks that are taking place in Beijing. The key figures were meeting for dinner Thursday evening. There is no clear consensus on the eventual outcome of the U.S.-China trade talks, which means the final result could cause volatility in markets.

The key outside markets today see the U.S. dollar index higher and hitting a 2.5-week high today. Meantime, Nymex crude oil prices are lower and trading around $58.50 a barrel.

Other U.S. economic reports due for release Thursday includes the weekly jobless claims report, the Kansas City Fed manufacturing survey, and pending home sales.

Live 24 hours gold chart [Kitco Inc.]

Technically, the gold bulls have the overall near-term technical advantage but are fading a bit late this week. Bulls’ next upside price objective is to produce a close in April futures above solid resistance at this week’s high of $1,324.50. 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 the overnight high of $1,311.10 and then at Wednesday’s high of $1,318.80. First support is seen at $1,290.00 and then at $1,285.00. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 6.5

Live 24 hours silver chart [ Kitco Inc. ]

May silver futures bulls have the overall near-term technical advantage but they are fading late this week. Silver bulls' next upside price breakout objective is closing prices above solid technical resistance at the March high of $15.65 an ounce. The next downside price breakout objective for the bears is closing prices below solid support at the March low of $14.985. First resistance is seen at the overnight high of $15.315 and then at Wednesday’s high of $15.475. Next support is seen at $15.00 and then at $14.85. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 6.0.

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