Gold, silver prices firmer amid quieter geopolitical front
(Kitco News) - Gold and silver prices are modestly up in early U.S. futures trading Thursday. The safe-haven metals are faring pretty well late this week, amid keener risk appetite that sees the U.S. stock indexes at or near record highs and a world scene that is presently void of major trouble spots. February gold futures were last up $2.30 an ounce at 1,556.20. March Comex silver prices were last up $0.032 at $18.02 an ounce.
Asian and European stock markets were mixed in uneventful dealings overnight. U.S. stock indexes are pointed toward higher openings and at or near record highs when the New York day session begins. With the U.S.-China partial trade deal signed and the geopolitical front quieter this week, focus among stock market traders is on earnings reports, which have been generally upbeat. The Dow Jones Industrial average, arguably the most closely watched stock index among the general public, closed above 29,000 for the fist time ever on Wednesday. This writer remembers working on the trading floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange in Chicago in the spring of 1985, and the Dow at that time pushed above 1,300.00 for the first time ever.
The key U.S. data point of the day Thursday will be the retail sales report for December, as traders and investors will get a better read on the holiday shopping season. Retail sales are seen up 0.3% from November.
The key outside markets today see crude oil prices slightly down and trading around $57.75 a barrel. The U.S. dollar index is modestly down early today.
Other U.S. economic data due for release Thursday includes the weekly jobless claims report, the Philadelphia Fed business survey, import and export prices, manufacturing and trade inventories and Treasury international capital data.
Technically, the gold bulls have the overall near-term technical advantage, but the January spike high is strong chart resistance to overcome. A price uptrend is still in place on the daily chart. Bulls’ next upside price objective is to produce a close in February futures above solid resistance at the September high of $1,571.70. Bears' next near-term downside price objective is pushing futures prices below solid technical support at $1,525.00. First resistance is seen at Wednesday’s high of $1,558.80 and then at this week’s high of $1,563.10. First support is seen at $1,550.00 and then at $1,541.00. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 6.5
March silver futures bulls still have the slight overall near-term technical advantage but are fading as a five-week-old price uptrend on the daily chart has been negated. Silver bulls' next upside price breakout objective is closing prices above solid technical resistance at the January high of $18.895 an ounce. The next downside price breakout objective for the bears is closing prices below solid support at $17.00. First resistance is seen at this week’s high of $18.13 and then at $18.25. Next support is seen at this week’s low of $17.69 and then at $17.50. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 5.5.