Gold, silver weaker following stronger U.S. data, rallying stocks
(Kitco News) - Gold and silver prices are modestly down in midday U.S. futures trading Thursday. 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 are negative for the safe-haven metals. February gold futures were last down $2.40 an ounce at 1,551.60. March Comex silver prices were last down $0.028 at $17.96 an ounce.
The key U.S. data point of the day Thursday was the retail sales report for December, as traders and investors got a better read on the holiday shopping season. Retail sales were up 0.3%, which was in line with market expectations. However, sales excluding automobiles were up 0.7%. Also, the Philadelphia Fed business survey index for December was 17.0 versus expectations for a number of 4.0. Gold and silver prices lost their modest overnight gains immediately after the release of these two reports.
Asian and European stock markets were mixed in uneventful dealings overnight. U.S. stock indexes are higher and hit new record highs today. 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 outside markets today see crude oil prices higher and trading around $58.65 a barrel. The U.S. dollar index is modestly up at midday today.
Technically, February gold futures bulls have the overall near-term technical advantage as a two-month-old price uptrend in still place on the daily bar chart. Gold bulls' next upside near-term price breakout objective is to produce a close above solid technical resistance at the September high of $1,571.70. Bears' next near-term downside price breakout objective is pushing prices below solid technical support at $1,525.00. First resistance is seen at today’s high of $1,558.20 and then at this week’s high of $1,563.10. First support is seen at Wednesday’s low of $1,546.50 and then at 1,541.00. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 6.5.
March silver futures bulls have slight the overall near-term technical advantage. An uptrend on the daily bar chart has been at least temporarily 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.
March N.Y. copper closed down 170 points at 284.90 cents today. Prices closed near the session low after hitting an eight-month high early on today. The copper bulls have the firm overall near-term technical advantage. A four-month-old uptrend is in place on the daily bar chart. Copper bulls' next upside price objective is pushing and closing prices above solid technical resistance at 300.00 cents. The next downside price objective for the bears is closing prices below solid technical support at the January low of 275.95 cents. First resistance is seen at today’s high of 288.60 cents and 290.00 cents. First support is seen at Wednesday’s low of 283.65 cents and then at this week’s low of 280.55 cents. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 7.5.