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Precious Metals Smacked By Demand Concerns, Firmer USDX

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(Kitco News) - Gold and silver prices are trading sharply lower in midday U.S. trading Thursday. Platinum and palladium prices are also getting hammered. A combination of elements this week is adding up to notions of slackening demand for the precious metals markets in the coming weeks and months. A rebound in the U.S. dollar index and chart-based sellers entering the futures markets also worked against the metals markets bulls today. June gold futures were last down $16.90 an ounce at $1,297.00. May Comex silver was last down $0.304 at $14.935 an ounce.

The marketplace is this week digesting economic data on several fronts that suggest world economic growth is slowing down and that the major central banks of the world will refrain from raising interest rates and could even ease their monetary policies. This theme is a mixed bag for stock markets but should be bullish for world government bond prices. At least on this day, the metals market traders are looking at this theme as bearish due to the implications slowing global economic growth has for demand for raw commodities. Remember that traders are fickle. Maybe in the near future the specter of easing monetary policies will be bullish for the raw commodity markets, including the metals.

U.S. first-quarter corporate earnings reports are starting to come out, with many expecting a generally downbeat theme to emerge. If so, that could work to pressure equities and produce some better asset flows into the metals. But right now there remains minimal risk aversion in the marketplace, which continues to be a bearish element for the safe-haven gold and silver markets.

The other key outside markets today finds Nymex crude oil prices are lower on profit taking and trading around $63.50 a barrel.

Live 24 hours gold chart [Kitco Inc.]

Technically, June gold futures prices closed nearer the session low today. The bulls still have the overall near-term technical advantage. However, a six-week-old downtrend line on the daily bar chart remains in place and trend-line resistance turned back prices today. Gold bulls' next upside near-term price breakout objective is to produce a close above solid technical resistance at the March high of $1,330.80. Bears' next near-term downside price breakout objective is pushing prices below solid technical support at last week’s low of $1,284.90. First resistance is seen at $1,305.00 and then at $1,310.00. First support is seen at this week’s low of $1,295.50 and then at $1,290.00. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 6.0

Live 24 hours silver chart [ Kitco Inc. ]

May silver futures prices closed near the session low and closed at a 3.5-month low close today. The silver bears have the overall near-term technical advantage. A six-week-old downtrend is in place on the daily bar chart. Silver bulls' next upside price breakout objective is closing prices above solid technical resistance at this week’s high of $15.31 an ounce. The next downside price breakout objective for the bears is closing prices below solid support at $14.50. First resistance is seen at $15.00 and then at today’s high of $15.215. Next support is seen at the April low of $14.86 and then at $14.75. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 4.0.

May N.Y. copper closed down 345 points at 289.10 cents today. Prices closed nearer the session low today. The copper bulls have the overall near-term technical advantage but trading has turned very choppy and sideways at higher levels, suggesting that a market top is in place. Copper bulls' next upside price objective is pushing and closing prices above solid technical resistance at the April high of 298.85 cents. The next downside price objective for the bears is closing prices below solid technical support at the March low of 283.45 cents. First resistance is seen at today’s high of 292.60 cents and then at this week’s high of 296.20 cents. First support is seen at today’s low of 288.35 cents and then at 285.00 cents. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 6.0.

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.