Gold, silver prices gain on keener marketplace uncertainty
(Kitco News) - Gold and silver prices are moderately higher in early U.S. trading Tuesday. The safe-haven metals are benefiting from world stock markets that are this week seeing buying interest squelched by more uncertainty ahead of two key events. February gold futures were last up $6.80 an ounce at 1,471.60. March Comex silver prices were last up $0.068 at $16.71 an ounce.
Asian and European stock indexes were mostly weaker overnight. The U.S. stock indexes are pointed toward lower openings when the New York day session begins. Risk aversion has crept up early this week. Next Sunday (Dec. 15) is the deadline for the imposition of new tariffs on Chinese imports into the U.S. If those new tariffs are allowed by President Trump to go into effect, then the U.S.-China trade war would likely escalate and no partial trade deal would be in sight, most believe. The keener uncertainty as the deadline approaches is likely to keep market participants leery the rest of this week. There is no real consensus on what will happen before Sunday, which makes the marketplace even more cautious.
Traders and investors are also a bit anxious ahead of the U.S. economic highlight of the week: the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee meeting (FOMC) that begins Tuesday morning and ends Wednesday afternoon with a statement. The Fed is expected to make no changes in its monetary policy. The European Central Bank also meets on monetary policy Thursday.
The closely watched German ZEW current conditions index came in at -19.9 in December versus -24.7 in November. The expectations index was 10.7 in December compared to -2.1 in November. The expectations index was well above market expectations and was the best reading of the year.
The key “outside markets” today see the U.S. dollar index a bit weaker. Meantime, Nymex crude oil prices are lower and trading around $58.65 a barrel.
U.S. economic data due for release Tuesday includes the weekly Goldman Sachs and Johnson Redbook retail sales reports, the NFIB small business index, revised productivity and costs, and the Manpower employment outlook survey.
Technically, the gold bulls and bears are on a level overall near-term technical playing field amid choppy and sideways trading recently. Bulls’ next upside price objective is to produce a close in February futures above solid resistance at $1,500.00. Bears' next near-term downside price breakout objective is pushing futures prices below solid technical support at the November low of $1,453.10. First resistance is seen at $1,475.00 and then at $1,480.00. First support is seen at Monday’s low of $1,463.00 and then at $1,456.60. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 5.0
March silver futures bears have regained the overall near-term technical advantage and restarted a more-than-three-month-old downtrend on the daily bar chart. Silver bulls' next upside price breakout objective is closing prices above solid technical resistance at last week’s high of $17.415 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 $17.00 and then at $17.25. Next support is seen at Monday’s low of $16.565 and then at $16.50. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 4.0.