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Gold prices near steady ahead of FOMC minutes

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(Kitco News) - Gold prices are hovering near unchanged levels on the day in early U.S. trading Wednesday, ahead of the U.S. data point of the week that is due out in the early afternoon—the FOMC minutes. December gold futures were last down $0.60 an ounce at 1,473.30. December Comex silver prices were last down $0.058 at $17.06 an ounce.

Wednesday afternoon’s minutes from the last meeting of the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee (FOMC) will see traders parsing the minutes for clues on the timing of the next monetary policy move by the Fed. Past FOMC minutes releases have seen markets make significant price moves in their aftermath. Such cannot be ruled out for today’s minutes’ release.

Asian and European stock markets were weaker overnight and the U.S. stock indexes are pointed toward lower openings when the New York day session begins. There is an uptick in risk aversion at mid-week following comments from President Trump Tuesday, when he said the U.S. could slap more trade tariffs on China. The U.S. Congress is also contemplating passing a resolution in support of Hong Kong’s protesters. And there are ongoing reports coming out of China that no trade deal would be agreed upon by China unless the U.S. lifts all of its tariffs on China’s imports into the U.S. Trump could impose more tariffs on Chinese goods as soon as December 15.

In overnight news, China’s central bank again eased its monetary policy just a bit by lowering its one-year-loan prime rate to 4.15% from 4.2%. The five-year-loan rate was lowered from 4.85% to 4.80%. That’s the second lowering of interest rates this week by the People’s Bank of China.

There was another dour inflation report coming out of the Euro zone Wednesday. The German producer price index for October fell 0.6%, year-on-year, suggesting very low inflation remains a serious problem for the Euro zone.

The key “outside markets” today see the U.S. dollar index higher. Nymex crude oil prices are slightly up and trading around $55.35 a barrel.

Other U.S. economic data due for release Wednesday includes the weekly mortgage applications survey and the weekly DOE liquid energy stocks report.

Live 24 hours gold chart [Kitco Inc.]

Technically, the gold bears have the slight overall near-term technical advantage. Prices are in a 2.5-month-old downtrend on the daily bar chart. Bulls’ next upside price objective is to produce a close in December futures above solid resistance at $1,500.00. Bears' next near-term downside price breakout objective is pushing December futures prices below solid technical support at $1,400.00. First resistance is seen at the overnight high of $1,479.20 and then at $1,490.00. First support is seen at Tuesday’s low of $1,465.10 and then at this week’s low of $1,456.60. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 4.5

Live 24 hours silver chart [ Kitco Inc. ]

December silver futures bears also have the overall near-term technical advantage. Prices are in a 2.5-month-old downtrend on the daily bar chart. Silver bulls' next upside price breakout objective is closing prices above solid technical resistance at $17.50 an ounce. The next downside price breakout objective for the bears is closing prices below solid support at $16.00. First resistance is seen at the overnight high of $17.185 and then at $17.25. Next support is seen at this week’s low of $16.705 and then at the November low of $16.615. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 4.0.

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